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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in various habitats from shallow algae reefs to deep offshore on soft bottom with sponges and hydroid colonies (Ref. 9002). Mostly small, secretive species, usually hiding among dense weeds (Ref. 9002). It rarely leaves its cover except to move quickly between hydrozoan colonies, but not before having a good look around first to make sure its safe (Ref. 48636).
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993 Coastal fishes of south-eastern Australia. University of Hawaii Press. Honolulu, Hawaii. 437 p. (Ref. 9002)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found from Indonesia to Tonga (Randall et al. 2003), north to Guam and south to southeastern Australia (Kuiter 2002).
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Western Pacific: Indonesia to the Coral Sea, north to Guam, south to southeastern Australia. Recently recorded from Tonga (Ref. 53797).
  • Myers, R.F. 1999 Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia, 3rd revised and expanded edition. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 330 p. (Ref. 37816)
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Western Pacific and southeastern Indian Ocean off Australia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 9
  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene 1990 Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)
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Size

Maximum size: 150 mm TL
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Max. size

15.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9002))
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993 Coastal fishes of south-eastern Australia. University of Hawaii Press. Honolulu, Hawaii. 437 p. (Ref. 9002)
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Diagnostic Description

It can be distinguished from the other species by its longitudinal lines along the body (Ref. 48636). Differs from P. cryptus and P. guttatus by having IX, 11 rather than X, 9-10 dorsal rays and males with filamentous extensions on first two rather than the first four interspinous dorsal membranes (Ref. 37816).
  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene 1990 Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in various habitats from shallow coastal algae reefs to deep offshore on soft bottom with sponges and hydroid colonies (Kuiter 1993, 2006), to a depth to 18 m (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008). It also occurs in sheltered reef crest with stinging hydrozoans (Aglaophenia spp) for protection (Kuiter 2002). Kuiter and Tonozuka (2001) found that it rarely leaves its cover except to move quickly between hydrozoan colonies.

It is highly variable in colour and tends to blend with habitat (Sadovy and Cornish 2000). Juveniles usually with eye-sized ocellus on gill cover, but intermittent in adults (Kuiter 2006). It is distinguished by the 9 spines in the dorsal fin (Kuiter 2002) and filaments extend from first two interspinous dorsal membranes in males (Sadovy and Cornish 2000).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 3 - 25 m (Ref. 90102)
  • Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann 2012 Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research. (Ref. 90102)
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Depth range based on 11 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 10 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 66.9273
  Temperature range (°C): 24.508 - 26.692
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.151 - 1.174
  Salinity (PPS): 35.037 - 35.395
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.484 - 4.747
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.122 - 0.203
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.983 - 1.459

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 66.9273

Temperature range (°C): 24.508 - 26.692

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.151 - 1.174

Salinity (PPS): 35.037 - 35.395

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.484 - 4.747

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.122 - 0.203

Silicate (umol/l): 0.983 - 1.459
 
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Trophic Strategy

Found in various habitats from shallow algae reefs to deep offshore on soft bottom with sponges and hydroid colonies (Ref. 9002). Mostly small, secretive species, usually hiding among dense weeds (Ref. 9002). It rarely leaves its cover except to move quickly between hydrozoan colonies, but not before having a good look around first to make sure its safe (Ref. 48636).
  • Kuiter, R.H. 1993 Coastal fishes of south-eastern Australia. University of Hawaii Press. Honolulu, Hawaii. 437 p. (Ref. 9002)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pteragogus enneacanthus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Genomic DNA is available from 2 specimens with morphological vouchers housed at Florida Museum of Natural History
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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
Shea, S., Liu, M., Craig, M.T. & Rocha, L.A.

Reviewer/s
Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread in the western Pacific. As this is a secretive species, general abundance is unknown. It is collected for the aquarium trade and is caught in multi-species fisheries. There are no major threats known to this species. It is listed as Least Concern. However, more information on population trends and harvest level is needed.
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Population

Population
In general, there is little information available on the abundance of this species across its geographic distribution. General abundance is difficult to estimate as this species is secretive and hides among algae.

It was rarely observed during an underwater census survey in the Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia (McKenna et al. 2002).

In French-Polynesia, only one individual was counted in various UVC surveys (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008 ).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species, although it is collected for the aquarium trade and is utilized as food fish.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

This species was observed in the Wakatobi Marine National Park, Indonesia covering 1,390,000 hectares (Bolton 2006) and Komodo National Park (Erdmann 2004). It has also been recorded from the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, Queensland (Ceccarelli et al. 2008) and Cape d’ Aguilar Marine Reserve, Hong Kong (Cornish 2000), which are strict no-take marine sanctuaries.
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