Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Prefer algae covered and mud bottoms areas of estuaries and coastal reefs (Ref. 9710). Usually occur in pairs. Feed on small benthic invertebrates (Ref. 9710). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is limited to the coastal tropical waters of northern Australia, where it ranges from the Kimberly Archipelago of northwestern Western Australia to the southern Great Barrier Reef (Steene 1978, Pyle 2001, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It has been recorded at depths of 1-20 m.
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Western Pacific: found exclusively on coastal reefs and estuaries of Queensland. Recently recorded from northwestern Australia (Ref. 5978, 3131).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9 - 10; Dorsal soft rays (total): 26 - 30; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 18 - 21
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Size

Max. size

20.5 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4859))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Populations are generally found on shallow coastal reefs (lacking live coral cover) with a muddy or silty substrate, or extensive algal cover as well as estuaries (Steene 1978). Adults are usually encountered in pairs (Steene 1978, Pyle 2001). It feeds on crabs, worms, and other invertebrates (Pyle 2001).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; brackish; marine
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Depth range based on 37 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 16 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.5 - 88.5
  Temperature range (°C): 24.703 - 27.300
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 1.164
  Salinity (PPS): 34.114 - 35.354
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.222 - 4.711
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.070 - 0.285
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 6.128

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.5 - 88.5

Temperature range (°C): 24.703 - 27.300

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.054 - 1.164

Salinity (PPS): 34.114 - 35.354

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.222 - 4.711

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.070 - 0.285

Silicate (umol/l): 0.900 - 6.128
 
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Trophic Strategy

Occurs inshore (Ref. 75154). Prefers algae covered and mud bottoms areas of estuaries and coastal reefs. Feeds on small benthic invertebrates.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Chelmon muelleri

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
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
Myers, R. & Pratchett, M.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is found along the northern coast of Australia and it lives in rocky and silty-muddy habitats. There are no known threats to this species and it is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
It is generally common (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). There is no reason to believe that the population is declining.

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There appear to be no major threats to this species. Collection is limited and is not considered to be impacting the global population.
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There appear to be no species-specific conservation measures in place. This species is believed to be present within a number of marine protected areas.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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