Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description: Body relatively thin, narrow and long with a large eye and a terminal, small mouth. Pectoral fins medium, reach to vent. Pelvic fins very short. Dorsal and anal-fin bases long, caudal peduncle short and relatively wide. Melanophores limited to the fin-ray membranes, typically occurring in five groups: at the front, mid, and rear dorsal fin and the front and rear anal fin. Each melanophore group covers from one to five fin spines or rays. Series of transitional larvae show development of the eye from vertically oval (and tilted backward) to round (round in many larvae captured over the reef). Transitional recruits of H. bivittatus have a mid-dorsal fin ocellus and a mid-lateral body stripe extending directly rearward from the eye, present even in the earliest transitional stages. Transitional recruits on the reef commonly show remnants of the larval melanophores on the fin membranes.

Halichoeres bivittatus larva

Halichoeres bivittatus larva

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Biology

Commonly found in rocky and reef areas in shallow waters. Less common in seagrass beds. Feeds on other fishes (Ref. 5521) and gastropods (Ref. 9626). Forms leks during breeding (Ref. 55367). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367).
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Distribution

Western Atlantic: from North Carolina, USA and Bermuda to Brazil. Also Gulf of Mexico, Antilles, and coasts of Central and South America
  • North-West Atlantic Ocean species (NWARMS)
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Range Description

This species occurs from North Carolina, USA and Bermuda to Rio de Janeiro (Menezes et al. 2003) Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the Caribbean.
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Western Atlantic: North Carolina, USA and Bermuda to Brazil (Ref. 7251).
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Western Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 12
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Size

Maximum size: 220 mm TL
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Max. size

35.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 55367)); max. published weight: 146 g (Ref. 9626)
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosis: The fin-ray count of D-IX,11 A-III,12 and Pect-13 indicates Halichoeres and is shared by most of the Caribbean species. Larval H. bivittatus are identical to most other larval Halichoeres with five patches of median-fin melanophores and can only be identified by DNA sequencing.

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The dominant color markings are two dark stripes, one running from snout through eye to caudal base and the other, less pronounced, on lower side of body; a bicolored spot at edge of gill cover within upper dark stripe; large adult males green on back, shading to light greenish yellow on sides, the two stripes usually purplish; irregular light red bands on head and on caudal fin (Ref. 13442).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is reef associated and found to at least 30 m depth. It is commonly found in rocky and reef areas in shallow waters. It is less common in seagrass beds.

It feeds on other fishes (Böhlke and Chaplin 1993) and gastropods (Cervigón 1993). It forms leks during breeding (Allsop and West 2003). It is a protogynous hermaphrodite (Allsop and West 2003). It is diandric. It is also a pelagic spawner (Nemtzov 1985). Sex reversal is completed in more than three to four weeks (Roede 1972, Sadovy and Shapiro 1987). Length at sex change = 30.2 cm TL (Allsop and West 2003).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 1 - 15 m (Ref. 9710)
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Depth range based on 175 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 123 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.25 - 37
  Temperature range (°C): 14.384 - 28.503
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.174 - 2.722
  Salinity (PPS): 34.043 - 36.993
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.456 - 6.036
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.006 - 0.344
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 4.423

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.25 - 37

Temperature range (°C): 14.384 - 28.503

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.174 - 2.722

Salinity (PPS): 34.043 - 36.993

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.456 - 6.036

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.006 - 0.344

Silicate (umol/l): 0.756 - 4.423
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 1 - 15m.
From 1 to 15 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Trophic Strategy

Commonly found in rocky and reef areas in shallow waters. Less common in seagrass beds. Feeds on other fishes (Ref. 5521) and gastropods (Ref. 9626). Mobile invertebrate feeder (Ref. 57616).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Diandric. Pelagic spawner (Ref. 32222). Sex reversal is completed in more than 3-4 weeks (Ref. 34185, 34257). Length at sex change = 30.2 cm TL (Ref. 55367).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Halichoeres bivittatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 45
Specimens with Barcodes: 66
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Halichoeres bivittatus

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


There are 45 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.

TTCGGCGCCTGAGCTGGGATGGTAGGCACGGCCTTG---AGCCTGCTTATTCGGGCTGAACTAAGCCAACCCGGCGCTCTCCTTGGGGAC---GATCAGATCTATAATGTAATCGTTACAGCGCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGCGGATTCGGAAACTGACTGATTCCCCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCCGACATGGCCTTCCCTCGAATGAACAACATAAGCTTCTGACTCCTTCCTCCCTCCTTCCTTCTCCTGCTCGCCTCTTCTGGGGTAGAGGCCGGTGCTGGAACTGGTTGAACGGTTTATCCCCCTCTAGCAGGAAATCTTGCTCACGCCGGTGCGTCTGTAGACCTA---ACAATCTTCTCCCTTCACTTAGCCGGTATCTCATCAATTCTAGGGGCCATCAACTTTATTACAACTATCATTAACATGAAGCCTCCTGCTATCTCCCAATACCAAACCCCACTATTTGTATGAGCTGTGCTGATTACAGCCGTCTTGCTCCTGCTTTCTCTCCCCGTCCTCGCTGCC---GGAATTACAATGCTTCTGACAGATCGAAATCTAAACACCACTTTCTTTGACCCCGCAGGAGGAGGTGATCCTATTCTCTATCAACATCTGTTCTGATTT
-- 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
Rocha, L., Francini, R. & Craig, M.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread and very common throughout much of its range in the Caribbean and Florida, although it is uncommon in northeastern Brazil. There are no major threats known to this species, and population trends are unknown. It is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Currently, population size/trends have not been assessed. This species is not present in FAO global production estimates.

Populations throughout the range seem to be well connected, except for the ones in North Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, which are genetically distinct and may represent a different species (Rocha et al. 2005).

This species is the most common wrasse in the Caribbean, but is considered to be relatively rare in Brazil.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
This species is present within several marine protected areas across its range. Baseline research on population trends is needed, as little is known about this species population status.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Slippery dick

The slippery dick, Halichoeres bivittatus, is a species of wrasse native to shallow, tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean.

Physical description[edit]

The species has three color phases. Adults have two dark to black lateral stripes, one extending from the snout and via the eye to the base of the tail, with a second, paler lateral stripe further below. The upper stripe incorporates a bicolored spot where it crosses the edge of the gills (this is present in all phases).[2] Intermediates vary greatly, from shades of light purple to dark brown. Juveniles are usually white and have two dark stripes, but the lower (abdominal) stripe may be faint.[3] The slippery dick reaches about 35 cm (14 in) in total length.[2]

Distribution[edit]

This species can be found from North Carolina and Bermuda to Brazil.[2] the Gulf of Mexico, Antilles, and the coasts of Central and South America.

Habitat[edit]

The slippery dick is generally found on shallow reefs and grass beds at depths from 1 to 15 m (3.3 to 49.2 ft).[2]

Ecology[edit]

This species feeds on benthic invertebrates, including crabs, sea urchins and ophiuroids, polychaetes, and gastropods. It is a protogynous hermaphrodite.[2] These fish form leks while breeding.[2] In North Carolina, males defend temporary territories with peak spawning in May and June. Pair spawning typically occurs between females and terminal phase males; initial phase males occasionally try to insert themselves into the spawning event.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rocha, L., Francini, R. & Craig, M. 2010. Halichoeres bivittatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Halichoeres bivittatus" in FishBase. August 2013 version.
  3. ^ Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Bocas del Toro Species Database
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