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Overview

Brief Summary

WhyReef - Lifestyle

You can find banana fish swimming over coral reefs in large schools, which are formations of many, even hundreds, of fish swimming together. They swim in these large groups to help protect them from predators, hoping they might become confused and think the school is one big fish. A banana fish’s chance to survive is much better in a large group than by itself!
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Comprehensive Description

Biology

Ranges widely around coral reefs (Ref. 58652), sometimes forming schools with other Pterocaesio species. Feeds on zooplankton in midwater aggregations. Oviparous, with numerous, small pelagic eggs (Ref. 402). Also caught mostly by drive-in nets. Important tuna baitfish.
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1987 Revision of the Indo-Pacific fish family Caesionidae (Lutjanoidea), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (15):56 p. (Ref. 1723)
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WhyReef - Fun Facts

The banana fish may not be the most exotic fish, but it is very important in the food web. Many other fish and dolphins eat it, depending on it for survival. The banana fish may be dinner for many other species, but it is so important to life on the reef.
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Distribution

Indo-West Pacific: East Africa (excluding the Red Sea and Arabian (Persian) Gulf) eastward to Fiji. Reported from the Ryukyu Islands (Ref. 559).
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1988 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 8. Fusilier fishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of caesionid species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(8):iv+75p. (Ref. 402)
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Indo-West Pacific.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 10 - 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 14 - 16; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 11 - 13
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1987 Revision of the Indo-Pacific fish family Caesionidae (Lutjanoidea), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (15):56 p. (Ref. 1723)
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Size

Maximum size: 210 mm TL
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Max. size

21.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 402))
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1988 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 8. Fusilier fishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of caesionid species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(8):iv+75p. (Ref. 402)
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Diagnostic Description

Variable body coloration, dark red to silvery, paler ventrally with lateral line darker; often yellowish snout and eyes. Caudal fin tips distinctly black or reddish black (Ref. 48636). 4-5 scales on cheek; 21-29 predorsal scales; scaled dorsal and anal fins. Upper peduncular scale rows usually 11 (10-12); lower peduncular scale rows usually 15 (13-17). ventrolateral surface of basioccipital with a broad process for attachment of Baudelot's ligament. Post maxillary with 2 processes; posterior end of maxilla tapered (Ref. 1723). Head length 3.0-3.5 in SL; body depth 3.6-4.8 in SL (Ref. 90102).
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1987 Revision of the Indo-Pacific fish family Caesionidae (Lutjanoidea), with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pac. Fish. (15):56 p. (Ref. 1723)
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Description

Ranges widely around coral reefs, sometimes forming schools with other @Pterocaesio@ species. Feeds on zooplankton in midwater aggregations. Also caught mostly by drive-in nets.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 1 - 100 m (Ref. 37816)
  • Myers, R.F. 1999 Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia, 3rd revised and expanded edition. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 330 p. (Ref. 37816)
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Depth range based on 15 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 6 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 92
  Temperature range (°C): 24.485 - 29.186
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.048 - 5.255
  Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 35.219
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.591 - 4.719
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.114 - 0.567
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.721 - 10.063

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 92

Temperature range (°C): 24.485 - 29.186

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.048 - 5.255

Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 35.219

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.591 - 4.719

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.114 - 0.567

Silicate (umol/l): 0.721 - 10.063
 
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Trophic Strategy

Sometimes schools with other species of Pterocaesio (Ref. 402).
  • Carpenter, K.E. 1988 FAO Species Catalogue. Vol. 8. Fusilier fishes of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of caesionid species known to date. Rome: FAO. FAO Fish. Synop. 125(8):iv+75p. (Ref. 402)
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Associations

WhyReef - Menu

Banana fish only eat zooplankton— tiny animals that live in the sea. Because they only eat other animals, they are carnivores.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Pterocaesio pisang

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 7
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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WhyReef - Threats

Many people catch banana fish to eat, or to use as bait when fishing. But humans must be careful not to take too many banana fish out of the reef!

Reefs are in danger, and that means so is the home of the banana fish!

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: commercial; bait: usually
  • Coppola, S.R., W. Fischer, L. Garibaldi, N. Scialabba and K.E. Carpenter 1994 SPECIESDAB: Global species database for fishery purposes. User's manual. FAO Computerized Information Series (Fisheries). No. 9. Rome, FAO. 103 p. (Ref. 171)
  • Lewis, A.D., B.R. Smith and C.P. Ellway 1983 A guide to the common tuna baitfishes of the South Pacific Commission area. South Pacific Commission, Handbook No. 23, Noumea, New Caledonia. (Ref. 6822)
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