Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

  Common names: angelfish (English), muñeca (Espanol), ángel (Espanol)
 
Holacanthus clarionensis Gilbert, 1891


Clarion angelfish


Deep compressed body; a small mouth with brush-like teeth; preopercle with large spine at its angle, with vertical margin serrated; bone between preopercle and operculum with 1-4 large spines; bone under eye without large, rear-pointing spines;  a single, un- notched dorsal fin, XIV, 17-19;  anal rays III, 18-19; dorsal and anal fins end in filaments; tail straight; lateral line weakly developed, ends under end of soft dorsal fin; large (< 50 in lateral series) regularly arranged, very rough scales with distinct ridges on the exposed part, scales extend out onto the median fins.


Body brownish orange, head dark brown; a broad bright orange area just behind head; tail fin orange; juveniles: brownish orange with narrow blue bars on side and pair of similar bars on head, bars gradually become narrower and eventually disappear with increased growth.

Size: reaches 20 cm.

Occurs solitarily or in aggregations on rocky reefs.

Depth: 0-30 m.

Endemic to the Revillagigedo Islands, with stragglers at Guadalupe, Alijos Rocks, southern Baja and the SW Gulf of California and at Banderas Bay in the SE Gulf of California, and Clipperton Island.
   
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Distribution

Range Description

This eastern central Pacific species appears to have a limited distribution. It is primarily found around the Revillagigedo Islands (Mexico), including Clarion Island (Isla Clarión). Occasional vagrants are recorded from the southern tip of Baja California (Mexico), the southeastern Gulf of California (Mexico), and Clipperton Island (overseas possession of France). It is found at depths of 3-30 m.
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Zoogeography

See Map (including site records) of Distribution in the Tropical Eastern Pacific 
 
Global Endemism: All species, East Pacific endemic, Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic

Regional Endemism: All species, TEP endemic, TEP oceanic island (s) endemic, Revillagigedo Islands endemic, Continent + Island (s), Continent, Island (s)

Residency: Resident

Climate Zone: North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California), 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 Central Pacific: southern tip of Baja California, Mexico; also from Clarion, and the Revillagigedo Group off the western coast of Mexico and from Clipperton Island.
  • Allen, G.R. 1985 Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Vol. 2. 3rd edit. in English. Mergus Publishers, Melle, Germany. (Ref. 4858)
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Eastern Pacific.
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Depth

Depth Range (m): 0 (S) - 30 (S)
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Physical Description

Morphology

Size

Length max (cm): 20.0 (S)
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Size

Maximum size: 200 mm TL
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Max. size

20.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9333))
  • Krupp, F. and W. Schneider 1995 Pomacanthidae. Angeles. p. 1388-1391. 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. 9333)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits clear water rocky reefs. Little additional information is currently available on the natural history of this species.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1 - 1
  Temperature range (°C): 24.554 - 24.554
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.162 - 0.162
  Salinity (PPS): 34.642 - 34.642
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.733 - 4.733
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.429 - 0.429
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.286 - 3.286
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Salinity: Marine, Marine Only

Inshore/Offshore: Inshore, Inshore Only

Water Column Position: Surface, Near Surface, Mid Water, Near Bottom, Bottom, Bottom + water column

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

Feeding

Feeding Group: Planktivore, Omnivore

Diet: benthic microalgae, sessile crustacea, sessile worms, sessile molluscs, zooplankton, pelagic fish eggs
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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

Egg Type: Pelagic, Pelagic larva
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
D2

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Pyle, R., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A. & Robertson, R.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
The vast majority of the species' population occurs at a single location in the Revillagigedo Islands, where it is restricted to reef habitat with an estimated area of occupancy of less than 50 km2. It has previously been collected for the aquarium trade. Regional experts support the plausible threat of the increased duration and frequency of ENSO events that can cause severe and rapid declines for restricted-range, shallow-water species. This species qualifies for Vulnerable under Criterion D2. However, more research is needed on this phenomenon, and this species should be reassessed when new information is available.
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IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed

CITES: Not listed
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Population

Population
This species is considered abundant at the Revillagigedo Islands where an estimated 99% of the total population is present, and presumed to be stable. According to Robertson and Allen (1996), this fish is considered vagrant at Clipperton Island, with fewer than 20 individuals recorded.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats

This species has a restricted distribution with the majority of the population confined to a reef habitat in a single location (two locations if Clarion is considered separate from the other three islands), and its area of occupancy is estimated to be less than <50 km2. It has previously been collected for the aquarium trade.

In the Eastern Tropical Pacific, severe localized fish species declines have occurred after strong ENSO events that result in shallow waters that are too warm and nutrient poor for extended periods of time (Grove 1985, Edgar et al. 2009). The frequency and duration of ENSO events in this region of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (e.g. the up-welling zone off the coast of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama and the offshore islands) appears to be increasing (Glynn and Ault 2000, Soto 2001, Chen et al. 2004). Given this species restricted distribution and shallow water habitat, oceanographic environmental changes, such as those associated with future ENSO events, may have detrimental effects on the survival of this species.

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Vulnerable (VU) (D2)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

This species is almost entirely limited to the Revillagigedo Islands Marine Protected Area with collection of animals prohibited in Mexican waters (Endoh 2007). This species should be carefully monitored, given its restricted range and shallow reef-associated habitat.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott 1991 World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)
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