Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Life history characteristics for the family specify that this group is oviparous, with distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate (Ref. 205). Males guard and aerate the eggs (Ref. 205). Minimum depth from Ref. 58018.
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Distribution

Range Description

Neopomacentrus aquadulcis is known from two locations in eastern Papua New Guinea between Lae and Alotau and from Tetepare Island, Solomon Islands. Its area of occupancy (AOO) is 183 km², using a coastline buffer of 100 m.
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Papua New Guinea.
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Western Central Pacific: Papua New Guinea.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Neopomacentrus aquadulcis occurs in clear streams and estuaries in highly fluctuating salinities at depths between about 0–3 m. The typical habitat consists of the lower, tidal reaches of freshwater streams in either pure fresh water or brackish water. It is one of only four members of the family Pomacentridae to inhabit fresh and brackish waters (Jenkins and Allen 2002).

Reproduction
Field observation in collecting localities indicate a probable harem-type structure with a single nuptial male in company of up to about 10 smaller fish. Nesting was evident with nuptial males showing whitish borders on the caudal fin and exhibiting flashing 2–3 whitish bars on the side of the body. Nesting appears most commonly among submerged fallen trees where fish can quickly retreat to shelter (Jenkins and Allen 2002).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 1 - 1 m (Ref. 46206)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Life history characteristics for the family specify that this group is oviparous, with distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate (Ref. 205). Males guard and aerate the eggs (Ref. 205).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B2ab(ii,iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Jenkins, A., Myers, R. & Rocha, L.A.

Reviewer/s
Harwell, H., Raynal, M. & Pippard, H.

Contributor/s

Justification
Neopomacentrus aquadulcis is known only from eastern Papua New Guinea and Tetepare Island, Solomon Islands with an area of occupancy (AOO) of 183 km². The species inhabits clear streams and estuaries in highly fluctuating salinities at depths between about 0–3 m. It is a fairly recently described freshwater fish, one of only four freshwater members of the coral-reef associated family Pomacentridae. The two locations where this species is found are known to be highly impacted by a number of threats including logging and mining activities, sedimentation, loss of catchment forest cover and degradation of water quality. It is inferred that populations are experiencing declines from habitat modification and degradation, declines that have been reported for other freshwater species. Although this species is found in two protected areas within its range, the level of protection is unknown. This species is listed as Endangered under B2ab(ii,iii). We recommend an Integrated Catchment Management/ Ecosystem Based Management approach to management and additional research on population trends and life history characteristics. Furthermore, we recommend monitoring the impacts of the known threats to its habitat and populations.
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Population

Population
Neopomacentrus aquadulcis was fairly recently described in 2002. This species appears to be locally abundant, at the type locality ~50 fish were observed (Jenkins and Allen 2002). There is limited information available on the status of the population although much of its habitat is impacted by nearby logging and mining activities (Allen et al. 2003) and inappropriate land use practices (intensified farming systems) (Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme accessed 19 June 2012). In addition, declines have been reported for other freshwater species in the region from habitat modification and degradation (i.e., loss of catchment forest cover and introductions of Tilapia); therefore, we infer that populations of this species are experiencing similar declines (Jenkins et al. 2010).

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species' habitat is impacted by a number of threats including: mining and logging activities, sedimentation, loss of catchment forest cover, and degradation of water quality (Allen et al. 2003, Jenkins et al. 2010).
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Endangered (EN) (B2ab(ii,iii))
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Neopomacentrus aquadulcis is found in two protected areas in parts of its range. We recommend an Integrated Catchment Management/ EBM approach to management. Additional research is needed on population trends and life history characteristics. Furthermore, we recommend monitoring the impacts of the known threats to its habitat.
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