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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabit harbors, natural embayments, brackish estuaries and the lower reaches of freshwater streams, frequently occurring among mangroves. Feed on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter (Ref. 7020, 44894, 48637). The dorsal, anal and pelvic spines are believed by Philippine fishers to be venomous and capable of inflicting wounds (Ref. 6565). Used in Chinese medicine (Ref. 12166). In Hong Kong live fish markets (Ref. 27253). Marketed as fresh (Ref. 12693).
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Distribution

Range Description

Scatophagus argus is distributed from the Persian Gulf, past India, and into the western Pacific. Its distribution extends from Japan in the north, to New South Wales, New Caledonia, and Fiji in the south (Randall 2005). The FAO (2001) states that the distribution of this species also extends further east in the Pacific, to French Polynesia. Scatophagus argus has also been recorded from Micronesia.
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Indo-Pacific: Kuwait to Fiji, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia. Reported from Samoa (Ref. 9710), Tonga (Ref. 53797), and the Society Islands (Ref. 2847).
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Indo-West Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 10 - 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 16 - 18; Analspines: 4; Analsoft rays: 13 - 15
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Size

Maximum size: 380 mm TL
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Max. size

38.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 6028))
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Diagnostic Description

Ground colour greenish. Juveniles with a few large roundish blotches, about size of eye, or with about 5 or 6 broad, dark, vertical bars. In large adults, spots may be faint and restricted to dorsal part of flanks. Body quadrangular, strongly compressed. Dorsal head profile steep. Eye moderately large, its diameter somewhat smaller than snout length. Snout rounded. Mouth small, horizontal, not protractile. Teeth villiform, in several rows on jaws (ref 43044).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The scat, Scatophagus argus, is usually found in estuaries, harbours, mangrove sloughs, and the lower reaches of fresh water streams, especially those with high mineral concentrations. Tiny juveniles float in the surface film (Kuiter and Debelius 2001). This species feeds on benthic algae, plant matter, and small benthic invertebrates. It is a schooling species. Individuals typically grow to 20–30 cm. Filipino fishers believe the dorsal, anal, and pelvis spines are venomous and capable of inflicting painful wounds.

Systems
  • Freshwater
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; amphidromous (Ref. 51243); freshwater; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 4 m (Ref. 48637)
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Depth range based on 34 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 13 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.5 - 100
  Temperature range (°C): 28.046 - 28.954
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.050 - 0.443
  Salinity (PPS): 30.164 - 34.205
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.427 - 4.612
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.072 - 0.339
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.202 - 8.944

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.5 - 100

Temperature range (°C): 28.046 - 28.954

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.050 - 0.443

Salinity (PPS): 30.164 - 34.205

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.427 - 4.612

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.072 - 0.339

Silicate (umol/l): 1.202 - 8.944
 
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Migration

Amphidromous. Refers to fishes that regularly migrate between freshwater and the sea (in both directions), but not for the purpose of breeding, as in anadromous and catadromous species. Sub-division of diadromous. Migrations should be cyclical and predictable and cover more than 100 km.Characteristic elements in amphidromy are: reproduction in fresh water, passage to sea by newly hatched larvae, a period of feeding and growing at sea usually a few months long, return to fresh water of well-grown juveniles, a further period of feeding and growing in fresh water, followed by reproduction there (Ref. 82692).
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Trophic Strategy

Also feeds on microalgae (Ref. 11889). Inhabits harbors, natural embayments, brackish estuaries and the lower reaches of freshwater streams, frequently occurring among mangroves. Feeds on worms, crustaceans, insects and plant matter (Ref. 7020). Also Ref. 58652.
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Diseases and Parasites

Waretrema Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Velvet Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Velvet Disease 2 (Piscinoodinium sp.). Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Trichodinosis. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Transversotrema Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Procerovum Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Ichthyobodo Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Filisoma Infestation. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Dactylogyrus Gill Flukes Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Cauliflower Disease. Viral diseases
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Caligus Infestation 1. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Bacterial Infections (general). Bacterial diseases
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Amyloodinium Disease. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Amphileptus Infection. Parasitic infestations (protozoa, worms, etc.)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Scatophagus argus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 15
Specimens with Barcodes: 38
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Scatophagus argus

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 15 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.  Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.  See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

CTTTATCTAGTATTCGGTGCCTGAGCAGGGATAGTTGGGACAGCTTTA---AGCCTCCTTATCCGTGCTGAACTAAGCCAACCAGGGGCTCTCCTTGGAGAC---GACCAGATCTATAATGTGATCGTAACGGCACATGCCTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTTATGCCAGTAATAATTGGAGGGTTTGGAAATTGACTGGTTCCCCTAATG---ATCGGGGCACCGGATATAGCATTCCCCCGGATAAATAACATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTTCCCCCTTCTTTCCTTCTCCTTCTAGCTTCCTCTGGCGTAGAAGCCGGGGCTGGAACAGGATGAACAGTCTACCCCCCTCTCGCTGGTAATCTAGCACATGCAGGAGCCTCCGTAGACCTA---ACCATCTTCTCACTTCACTTGGCAGGGGTTTCTTCAATCCTTGGGGCTATTAACTTCATCACCACTATTATTAATATAAAATCCCCTGCTGCTTCCCAATATCAAACTCCTCTATTCGTCTGAGCAGTCCTAATTACTGCTGTCTTACTACTCCTCTCTCTACCTGTTCTTGCTGCT---GGCATTACAATACTTCTTACAGATCGAAACCTGAACACCTCTTTCTTTGATCCTGCAGGAGGAGGAGACCCGATTCTTTACCAACATCTA------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------TTC
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)

Reviewer/s
Carpenter, K.E., Livingstone, S. & Polidoro, B.

Contributor/s
De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.

Justification
Scatophagus argus has been assessed as Least Concern. This species has a very large distribution, extending from the Persian Gulf to the east coast of Australia. Although harvested for food, medicine, and the aquarium trade, it is of little commercial importance. This species is also able to utilise a number of habitat types that undergo large scale environmental fluctuations, indicating resilience and adaptability.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for Scatophagus argus.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Scatophagus argus is harvested as a food source using traps and nets. However, due to its small size, it is not thought to be of commercial importance. It is also used in Chinese medicine and for the aquarium trade. However, due to the low commercial value of this species and its venomous spines, harvesting is not considered a major threat at present.

This species occurs in some estuarine environments that are subject to high levels of contaminants from shipping (oil and fuel leaks, ballast water, anti-fouling paints), coastal development, and pollution from upstream. However, these are localised threats, and not known throughout its entire range.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Scatophagus argus. However, it may occur in a number of marine protected areas. Further research on the harvest levels and extent of harvest of this species is needed.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquaculture: commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: low; price reliability: questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this genus
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Wikipedia

Scatophagus argus

Scatophagus argus, a fish in the scat family (Scatophagidae), occurs in two basic color morphs which are called green scat and ruby or red scat. As a whole, the species is called common or spotted scat. This fish is generally distributed around the Indo-Pacific region, to Japan, New Guinea, and southeastern Australia. They live in coastal muddy areas, including estuaries, mangroves, harbours, and the lower courses of rivers.[1] They are popular aquarium fish.

Description[edit]

The body is strongly compressed. The dorsal head profile is steep, with a rounded snout. The body is greenish-brown to silvery with many brown to red-brown spots. Spines and rays of the dorsal fin are separated by a deep notch. Small ctenoid scales cover the body. Juveniles are a greenish-brown with either a few large, dark, rounded blotches, or five or six dark, vertical bars.[1]


Since S. argus can live in embayment regions, as well as quite far upstream in freshwater rivers, they can adapt to varying salinities. As fry, they live in freshwater environments, but as they mature, they move to saltwater environments. They do not live in temperate waters, as they require at least a little warmth (21 to 28°C). [2]


The common scat is omnivorous and an indiscriminate eater. In 1992, biologists Barry and Fast reported adult scat from the Philippines were primarily herbivorous, while the juveniles preferred zooplankton. Although scat were named for their purported habit of feeding on offal (Scatophagus argus is translated from Greek to "spotted feces-eater"), it may be a misnomer as this behaviour has not been confirmed in diet studies.[1]

As a food source[edit]

Scatophagus argus is fished for and eaten by some people from its original environment, and can sting with small spikes in its anterior parts, inflicting a venom that causes great pain and dizzyness. Treatment of the wound is often done by soaking the infliction in hot water.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "scat (Scatophagus argus) - FactSheet". Nas.er.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  2. ^ "Scatophagus argus". Aquaticcommunity.com. Retrieved 2014-07-13. 
  3. ^ Gisha Sivan; K. Venketesvaran, C.K. Radhakrishnan (15 September 2007). "Biological and biochemical properties of Scatophagus argus venom". Toxicon (Elsevier Ltd) 50 (4): 563–571. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2007.05.002. PMID 17599379. 
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