Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found off steep outer-reef escarpments. May be solitary but most commonly seen in small aggregations feeding on zooplankton well off the bottom.
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Distribution

Range Description

Acanthurus albipectoralis is found from the Great Barrier Reef, Herald Cays, Chesterfield Islands and reefs of the Coral Sea (17°00'S) to Swains Reef, Queensland (20°57'S), New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands and Tonga. It was recorded from American Samoa (Green et al. 1999). Phung (1998) recorded this species from the Spratly Islands, central South China Sea. This record from the Spratly Islands needs to be confirmed.
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Western Pacific: Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea to Tonga.
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Southwestern Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 22 - 33; Analspines: 2 - 3; Analsoft rays: 18 - 31; Vertebrae: 22
  • Randall, J.E. 2001 Acanthuridae. Surgeonfishes (tangs, unicornfishes). p. 3653-3683. 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. 9808)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9808&speccode=12625 External link.
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Size

Maximum size: 330 mm TL
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Max. size

33.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334))
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Diagnostic Description

Body varying from light bluish grey to dark brown, without blue lines. Outer part of pectoral fins abruptly white, the demarcation curved such that pale area is broadest on central part of fin. Least depth of caudal peduncle 3.1 to 3.3 times in head length. Maximum standard length about 33 cm (Ref 9808).
  • Randall, J.E. 2001 Acanthuridae. Surgeonfishes (tangs, unicornfishes). p. 3653-3683. 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. 9808)   http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=9808&speccode=12625 External link.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Acanthurus albipectoralis is found off exposed outer-reef slopes. It is usually seen in small aggregations feeding above the bottom on zooplankton (Randall 2001).

The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 5 - 20 m (Ref. 9710)
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Depth range based on 6 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 5 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 7.5 - 20
  Temperature range (°C): 25.709 - 28.465
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.151 - 0.923
  Salinity (PPS): 34.452 - 35.312
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.543 - 4.727
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.122 - 0.168
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.983 - 3.167

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 7.5 - 20

Temperature range (°C): 25.709 - 28.465

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.151 - 0.923

Salinity (PPS): 34.452 - 35.312

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.543 - 4.727

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.122 - 0.168

Silicate (umol/l): 0.983 - 3.167
 
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Depth: 5 - 20m.
From 5 to 20 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Found off steep outer-reef escarpments. May be solitary but most commonly seen in small aggregations feeding on zooplankton well off the bottom.
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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
2012

Assessor/s
Russell, B., Stockwell, B., Nanola, C., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Clements, K.D., Rocha, L.A., Abesamis, R. & Myers, R.

Reviewer/s
Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Acanthurus albipectoralis is widespread and common in parts of its range. It is harvested for food but is caught only incidentally. There are no major threats known and it occurs in a number of marine protected areas within its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Acanthurus albipectoralis is uncommon in the American Samoa National Park (National Park of Samoa Checklist of Fishes accessed 21 April 2010). It is common in the Coral Sea and Elizabeth Middleton Reefs (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.
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Wikipedia

Acanthurus albipectoralis

Acanthurus albipectoralis (with paper to show white fin)

The Whitefin surgeonfish (Acanthurus albipectoralis) is a marine reef tang in the fish family Acanthuridae. Individuals grow to a maximum length of 33 cm (13 in).

References

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