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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: surgeonfish (English), cirujano (Espanol), navajón (Espanol)
 
Acanthurus nigricans (Linnaeus, 1758)


Whitecheek surgeonfish,     Goldrimmed surgeonfish


Body an elongate oval; head profile steep; eye high on the head; mouth small, protrusible, low on head; teeth on jaws fixed, with flattened, notched tips, 8-28 on each jaw; gill rakers 17-19; dorsal rays IX, 28-31; anal rays III, 26-29; pectoral rays 16; pelvic fin I, 5; a single depressible spine fits into a groove on the side of the base of the tail; tail fin concave; scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.


Black or blue-black; with large white blotch below eye; narrow white band encircling mouth; a yellow band, becoming broader posteriorly, at base of dorsal and anal fins; tail fin white with narrow yellow bar posteriorly.


Size: largest specimen, 22 cm.

Habitat: usually seen in shallow water of exposed coral reefs or rocky shores.

Depth: 0-70 m.

Eastern Indian Ocean and the tropical Pacific, mainly at islands; in the eastern Pacific it is known from the tip of Baja California, the SW and SE Gulf of California, southern Mexico, Costa Rica to Ecuador and all the offshore islands.
   
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Biology

Inhabit hard substrate areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs from the lower surge zone to at least 67 m and feeds on filamentous algae. Monogamous (Ref. 52884, 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Small juveniles shy among large corals (Ref. 48637). Territorial species. Common throughout Micronesia and hybridizes with the rare A. achilles. Size of metamorphosis from the postlarva stage to juvenile is 5.5 to 6 cm (Ref. 9267).
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Distribution

Range Description

Acanthurus nigricans is widely distributed in the Pacific Ocean. In the Pacific Ocean, it occurs from Ryukyu islands and the Great Barrier Reef to the Hawaiian islands and French Polynesia (excluding Rapa). In the eastern Indian Ocean, it is known from Cocos-Keeling Islands and Christmas Island. It was recently recorded from Diego Garcia, Chagos Archipelago (Craig 2008).

This species occurs across the eastern Pacific barrier from the tip of Baja California to the southwest and southeast Gulf of California, southern Mexico, Costa Rica to Ecuador and all the offshore islands.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, TEP non-endemic, Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans), "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific), All Pacific (West + Central + East)

Regional Endemism: All species, Eastern Pacific non-endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap), Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos), Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
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Eastern Indian Ocean: known only from Cocos-Keeling Islands and Christmas Island. Pacific Ocean: Ryukyu Islands and Great Barrier Reef to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia (excluding Rapa). This species has crossed the Eastern Pacific Barrier to the Revillagigedo Islands, Cocos Island, Galapagos Islands, and the coast of Mexico.
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Eastern Indian Ocean, Pacific: Andaman Sea and Cocos-Keeling Islands east to Panama, north to southern Japan and Hawaiian Islands, south to Western Australia, New South Wales (Australia), New Caledonia, Tonga and Austral Islands.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (S) - 70 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 28 - 31; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 26 - 28
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Size

Length max (cm): 22.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 213 mm TL
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Max. size

21.3 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334))
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Diagnostic Description

A horizontally elongate white blotch directly below eye. No orange band in outer part of dorsal fin. Caudal peduncle black except for yellow edge of socket and sheath of peduncular spine. Base of pectoral fin black (ref 9808).Gill rakers on anterior row:17-19, on posterior row:18-20.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This reef-associated species inhabits hard substrate areas of clear lagoons and seaward reefs, from the lower surge zone to at least 67 m. Small juveniles hide among large corals (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). In the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama, this species can be found over exposed shallow rocky reefs and deep rocky walls (Dominici-Arosemena and Wolff 2006). According to Rubio (1986), at Gorgona Island, Colombia, this fish (cited as A. glaucopareius) is abundant on rocky substrata, while also frequently found on sandy and coralline substrata. It grazes on algal turf mainly on thallate and filamentous algae (Choat et al. 2002, Choat et al. 2004). Maximum age was 34 years in the Great Barrier Reef (Choat and Robertson 2002). Mean maximum age for females is 30 years, males at 24 years (Jones 2008).

The sexes are separate among the acanthurids and there is no evidence of sexual dimorphism (Reeson 1983). However, there is size dimorphism with females consistently larger than males (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). Acanthurus nigricans is monogamous (Whiteman and Côté 2004).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 67 m (Ref. 1602), usually 2 - 67 m (Ref. 27115)
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Depth range based on 75 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 70 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.6 - 35
  Temperature range (°C): 24.488 - 29.336
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.046 - 5.562
  Salinity (PPS): 33.044 - 36.142
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.243 - 4.879
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 0.628
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 4.148

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.6 - 35

Temperature range (°C): 24.488 - 29.336

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.046 - 5.562

Salinity (PPS): 33.044 - 36.142

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.243 - 4.879

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.085 - 0.628

Silicate (umol/l): 1.089 - 4.148
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1 - 67m.
From 1 to 67 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Bottom, Bottom only

Habitat: Reef (rock &/or coral), Reef only, Rocks, Corals, Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)

FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits hard substrate areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs from the lower surge zone to at least 67 m and feeds on filamentous algae (Ref. 58534, 58652). Monogamous (Ref. 52884, 48637). Small juveniles shy among large corals (Ref. 48637). A territorial species. Roving herbivore (Ref. 57615).
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Feeding

Feeding Group: Herbivore

Diet: benthic microalgae
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acanthurus nigricans

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 11
Specimens with Barcodes: 55
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Acanthurus nigricans

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


There are 10 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.

CATAAAGATATTGGCACCCTTTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCTGGAATAGTAGGAACGGCCCTG---AGCCTCCTAATCCGAGCAGAATTAAGCCAACCAGGCGCCCTCCTCGGGGAT---GATCAAATTTATAATGTAATTGTTACAGCACACGCATTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGTGGATTTGGAAATTGATTAATTCCACTAATG---ATTGGAGCTCCTGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAATATGAGCTTTTGGCTCCTACCCCCATCCTTCCTGCTTCTACTAGCATCTTCTGCAGTAGAGTCTGGTGCTGGCACAGGGTGAACAGTATACCCTCCTCTAGCCGGTAATTTAGCACATGCAGGAGCATCTGTAGACCTA---ACCATTTTCTCCCTCCACCTCGCAGGTATTTCTTCAATTCTTGGAGCTATTAATTTTATTACAACAATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCTGCTATTTCTCAATATCAAACCCCCCTATTTGTATGAGCCGTACTAATTACTGCTGTCCTACTCCTTCTCTCACTTCCCGTTCTCGCCGCC---GGAATTACAATGCTACTAACAGACCGTAATCTAAACACTACCTTCTTTGATCCGGCAGGGGGAGGAGACCCCATCCTATACCAACATTTATTCTGATTTTTTGGT
-- 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
2012

Assessor/s
Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.

Reviewer/s
Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Acanthurus nigricans is widespread throughout the Pacific Ocean. It is common and abundant in parts of its range. It is caught incidentally as food and is a component of the marine aquarium trade. Harvest for the aquarium trade is not considered a major threat globally and it occurs in a number of marine reserves in parts of its distribution. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
Acanthurus nigricans is common and widespread throughout the Pacific Ocean. On Christmas Island, it is the dominant Acanthurid on a reef dominated by Acanthurids and achieves mean densities of 83.6 (SE 9.14) per 1,000 m2 (Choat unpub. data). It was at least eightfold more abundant than Acanthurus leucosternon and twofold more abundant than putative hybrids at Cocos (Keeling) and Christmas Island (Marie et al. 2007).

In Fagatale Bay, American Samoa, it is a dominant species on the reef slope (Green et al. 1999). A. nigricans was the second most dominant species recorded from Tutuila, Aunuu, and Taema Banks, American Samoa, contributing to 7.6% of total fish biomass and 11.87% of numerical abundance (Sabater and Tofaeono 2006). In Tutuila Island, American Samoa, it was the second most dominant species recorded, contributing
to 8% of total fish biomass (Sabater and Tofaeono 2007).

It was the fourth most abundant Acanthurid in Guam and Saipan, but makes a minor contribution to the Acanthurid fishery, 2.5% and 0.5% respectively (J. McIlwain unpub. data). This species is collected as an aquarium fish in West Hawaii. The total number of individuals caught from FY 2005-2009 was 3,969 with a total value of $18,813 (Walsh et al. 2010). It is common and locally abundant in the Philippines but is not specifically targeted in the fishery (R. Abesamis and B. Stockwell pers. comm. 2010). It was recorded as generally rare, but locally common, particularly at Louisiades, Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea (Allen 2003). It was recorded as occasional at Raja Ampat, Indonesia (Allen 2003b).

In the central Philippines, density and biomass of herbivorous fish in reserves had positive relationships with duration of reserve protection. Acanthuridae and Labridae (parrotfishes) were the major families that increased in biomass inside reserves with duration of reserve protection. Herbivore biomass inside reserves compared to fished sites was on average 1.4, 4.8 and 8.1 times higher at 0.5 to 4, 5 to 7 and 8 to 11 years of protection, respectively. For A. nigricans, mean biomass recorded in 2 reserves (5 to 7 years duration of protection) were 0.59 and 0.07 (kg per 500 m2) (Stockwell et al. 2009).

This species is the least abundant of the Acanthurids at Gorgona, Colombia. According to Robertson and Allen (1996), this fish was frequent enough to have a resident population in Clipperton Atoll. This fish was studied in the Galapagos archipelago, with an overall mean density of 1.49 ind/500 m2 (Edgar et al. 2004). It is locally common in southern Costa Rica, and in Cano Island and Cocos Island.

According to Aburto-Oropeza and Balart (2001), A. nigricans is a rare species in Los Islotes, Gulf of California, having an occurrence frequency below 10%. In Cabo Pulmo, Gulf of California, this species was considered scarce, with a relative frequency between 25-50% (Villarreal-Cavazos et al. 2000). Densities on the tropical eastern Pacific offshore islands are much higher than along the continental coast.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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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 this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
  • Miyasaka, A. 1993 A database on scientific and common names of fishes exported from Hawaii. The information was derived from the above mentioned database. A printout of the names is also available from the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii. (Ref. 5358)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=5358&speccode=4306 External link.
  • Krupp, F. 1995 Acanthuridae. Sangradores, cirujanos, navajones. p. 839-844. In W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) Guia FAO para Identification de Especies para lo Fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. 3 Vols. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9267)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9267&speccode=6011 External link.
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Wikipedia

Whitecheek surgeonfish

The whitecheek surgeonfish,[2] also known as the goldenrim surgeonfish or yellow-spotted surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricans, is a reef-associated tang found from the central Indo-Pacific area to the eastern Pacific coast, Hawaii included.[3] It occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade. It grows to 21.3 cm in length.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. (2012). "Acanthurus nigricans". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 
  2. ^ Pietsch, T.W. and D.B. Grobecker, 1987. Frogfishes of the world. Systematics, zoogeography, and behavioral ecology. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California. 420 p.
  3. ^ "Acanthurus nigricans: Distribution". Encyclopedia of Life. Retrieved 3 May 2014. 


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