Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Adults inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs, usually on rubble and sand bottoms (Ref. 9710) at depths greater than 20 m. Solitary. Feed mainly on hard-shelled prey including crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins. Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Relatively common and easily approached (Ref. 9710).
  • Westneat, M.W. 2001 Labridae. Wrasses, hogfishes, razorfishes, corises, tuskfishes. p. 3381-3467. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9823)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9823&speccode=4844 External link.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found in the Great Barrier Reef, Cardwell, Queensland, and Elizabeth or Middleton Reef, Australia (R. Myers pers. comm. 2008), and in New Caledonia.
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Western Pacific: Queensland, Australia to New Caledonia.
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Western Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 7; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 10
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Size

Maximum size: 515 mm TL
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Max. size

51.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 5525))
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Diagnostic Description

Body with about 5 to 7 complete broad dusky bands. A distinct dark spot centered on lateral line along dusky band below fifth or sixth dorsal-fin spine. Adults with second prominent anterior canine approximately 1/2 the size of the first, directed mostly dorsally. (Ref 9823)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, usually found solitary on rubble and sand bottoms at depths greater than 20 m (Lieske and Myers 1994), and down to 46 m (R. Myers pers. comm. 2008). It feeds mainly on hard-shelled prey including crustaceans, molluscs and sea urchins (Lieske and Myers 1994).

The recorded maximum size of the species is 80 cm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008). Information on its reproductive biology and ecology is lacking.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine
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Depth range based on 4 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 49
  Temperature range (°C): 24.703 - 27.193
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 0.816
  Salinity (PPS): 34.967 - 35.354
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.622 - 4.724
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.120 - 0.216
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.181 - 1.236

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 49

Temperature range (°C): 24.703 - 27.193

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.058 - 0.816

Salinity (PPS): 34.967 - 35.354

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.622 - 4.724

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.120 - 0.216

Silicate (umol/l): 1.181 - 1.236
 
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Trophic Strategy

Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, usually on rubble and sand bottoms at depths greater than 20 m. Solitary. Feeds mainly on hard-shelled prey including crustaceans, molluscs and sea urchins.
  • Westneat, M.W. 2001 Labridae. Wrasses, hogfishes, razorfishes, corises, tuskfishes. p. 3381-3467. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9823)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9823&speccode=4844 External link.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Choerodon graphicus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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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
To, A. & Liu, M.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has a very limited geographic distribution, as it is found only in Australia (Queensland) and New Caledonia, and is common within most of its range. It is caught by recreational and commercial fisheries in at least some parts of its range, but also occurs in several marine protected areas and are subject to catch limits in Australia. It is listed as Least Concern. However, its use in the live fish trade needs to be evaluated, given its large body size, it is likely to be favored and also occurs in areas where these fisheries operate.
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Population

Population
Descriptive account on this species by Lieske and Myers (1994) reported that this species was common along its range of occurrence.

In New Caledonia, a total 5,094 individuals were counted in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 3-80 cm TL. In a total of 19 stations, a total of 81 individuals were caught with total weight of 10.4 kg (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is collected in recreational and commercial fishery in Australia and New Caledonia, however there is no information on its landings and the level of threat from these fisheries is unknown. Given this species large size and location in areas targeted by the live food fish trade, more research is needed on this species population status and harvest levels.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
In Australia, a minimum size of 30 cm TL and a bag limit of six fish apply to this genus (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008a). There are three, nine-day closure to the taking of all coral reef fishes including Choerodon species in Queensland east coast waters, which are in October, November and December each year around the new moon phase (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2008b). In Caledonia, however, there is no specific management measures or regulation on this species.

This species is also present in some Marine Protected Areas within its restricted range. Marine parks are established within Queensland including the Heron Island where this species is recorded (Jones et al. 2004). Marine parks in Queensland are zoned for different purposes and they offer different levels of protection from recreational and commercial fishing activities.

In New Caledonia, no-take marine reserves have been established in five islands of the Southwest lagoon, which cover a total area of about 27 km2, in New Caledonia since 1989. Underwater visual censuses revealed significantly higher biomass and density of C. graphicus in these marine reserves after five years of protection (Wantiez et al. 1997).

More information is needed on this species population status, harvest levels, and potential impact of fisheries.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: public aquariums; price category: very high; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
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