Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is distributed in the eastern Pacific including: the Gulf of California in Mexico, the Galápagos Archipelago, and Ecuador. There is a report of larva probably belonging to this species, at 200 miles north of Clipperton Island, to the south-west of Mexico (Holthuis 1991). This species is likely to occur along the scattered islands running from Baja California, to the Galápagos e.g. Clipperton Is, Cocos Is., Roca Partida (M. Butler pers. comm. 2009).

The type locality for this species is 'Post Office Bay, Charles Island, Galapagos Archipelago' (Holthuis 1991).
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Physical Description

Type Information

Holotype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104557
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): W. Schmitt
Year Collected: 1933
Locality: Santa Maria Island, Post Office Bay, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Velero III R/V
  • Holotype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Source: National Museum of Natural History Collections

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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 21613
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: female;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1888
Locality: Santa Maria Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Albatross R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104559
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1939
Locality: Seymour Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 97931
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Dry
Collector(s): C. Reyes
Locality: Baltra Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 125968
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: female;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): C. Townsend
Locality: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, North Pacific Ocean
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104555
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: female;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1933
Locality: Albemarle Island, Isabela Island, Tagus Cove, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Velero III R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104560
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male; female;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1933
Locality: Isabela Island, Tagus Cove, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Velero III R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104556
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1933
Locality: Santa Maria Island, Post Office Bay, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Velero III R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104554
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Year Collected: 1934
Locality: Santa Cruz Island, Academy Bay, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Vessel: Velero III R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 95757
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: female;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
Collector(s): P. Szalinski
Year Collected: 1949
Locality: Isabela Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, South Pacific Ocean
Depth (m): 11 to 11
Vessel: Mariner R/V
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Paratype for Scyllarides astori Holthuis
Catalog Number: USNM 104558
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology
Sex/Stage: male;
Preparation: Alcohol (Ethanol)
  • Paratype: 1960. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 73: 152.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology

This nocturnal, mostly solitary species forages during the night and shelters during the day. It can be found on platforms, crevices, and on vertical walls down to a depth of 20 m (Holthuis 1991, Lavalli et al. 2007). This is a diver fishery and so this species has only been collected to 20 m, however it may extend down to about 50 m (M. Butler pers. comm. 2009). Its diet consists mainly of bivalves (Lavalli et al. 2007).

This is a relatively slow growing species, with sexual maturity being reached at more than 6 years (Lavalli et al. 2007) or at a total length of 20 to 25 cm (Hearn et al. 2007). The species has a clear seasonal breeding pattern, with ovigerous females occurring in the warmer months from December to May (Hearn and Toral-Granda 2007). This species is likely to reproduce once a year at the most, and the fecundity is between 87,000 - 360,000 eggs per female (Hearn et al. 2007).


Systems
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 2 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 9 - 200
  Temperature range (°C): 13.146 - 22.344
  Nitrate (umol/L): 6.523 - 25.990
  Salinity (PPS): 34.632 - 34.934
  Oxygen (ml/l): 1.522 - 4.215
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.824 - 2.006
  Silicate (umol/l): 5.791 - 21.931

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 9 - 200

Temperature range (°C): 13.146 - 22.344

Nitrate (umol/L): 6.523 - 25.990

Salinity (PPS): 34.632 - 34.934

Oxygen (ml/l): 1.522 - 4.215

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.824 - 2.006

Silicate (umol/l): 5.791 - 21.931
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Dispersal

Depth range

in shallow water, around 10m
  • Holthuis, L.B. 1991. FAO species catalogue. Vol 13. Marine lobsters of the world. An annotated and illustrated catalogue of species of interest to fisheries known to date. FAO fisheries Synopsis. 125 (13):292 p.
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Butler, M., Cockcroft, A. & MacDiarmid, A.

Reviewer/s
Collen, B., Livingstone, S. & Richman, N.

Contributor/s
Batchelor, A., De Silva, R., Dyer, E., Kasthala, G., Lutz, M.L., McGuinness, S., Milligan, H.T., Soulsby, A.-M. & Whitton, F.

Justification
Scyllarides astori has been assessed as Data Deficient. This species is harvested across much of its range but the status of the global stock is unknown. Landings of this species have increased in response to the loss of stocks of other species, though due to a lack of data on effort it is unclear if the stock is stable or in decline. Monitoring of the stock status is needed before a more accurate assessment of conservation status can be made.
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Population

Population

There is little population data available for this species. In the north and far north of the Galapagos archipelago, where sea surface temperatures are highest, this species has been found to be rare (less than one individual observed per diver hour). In other areas of the archipelago this species showed higher levels of abundance; ranging between two and four individuals observed per diver hour (Hearn et al. 2007). This species is less abundant in the immediate subtidal zone, where approximately 5 individuals have been observed per diver hour. This abundance more than doubled at depths greater than 10 m (Hearn et al. 2007). Population data for Mexico is not available.


Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats

The main threat facing this species is the increase in the catch and demand within the fisheries sector as described in the Use and Trade section. The decline in the catches of the predominantly harvested Spiny Lobsters (Panulirus penicillatus and P. gracilis) from a maximum of 85 tonnes of tail in 2000 to 25.7 tonnes in 2005, has coincided with an increase in catch and demand for this species (Hearn and Toral-Granda 2007). The decrease in Spiny Lobster catch together with the progressive and severe depletion of the Sea Cucumber population since 2000, raises concerns as to the sustainability of fisheries as a whole within the GMR (Hearn et al. 2007).

Hearn and Toral-Granda (2007) encourage a cautious approach to the development of a Slipper Lobster fishery. This species exhibits characteristics such as low fecundity, slow growth, and relatively easy catchability. These factors together with the species possible endemic status, low abundance, its value in relation to the Spiny Lobsters, plus the track record of the local fishing sector in overexploiting their resources all mean that this species is at potential risk of overexploitation.

There are no clearly identified threats from the Mexico part of this species' range, though it should be noted that there are significant fishing industries in this area (FAO 2010). Although these are often specialised for other species, such as sardines or tuna, lobsters could potentially be taken as by-catch.

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

As a World Natural Heritage Site and multi-use marine reserve, the Galapagos must ensure sustainability and minimize the ecological impact of all of its activities. The fishery for this species is open all year round. Besides a ban on landing ovigerous females, and the implementation of No-Take Zones, the fishery is essentially unregulated. A maximum of 5 kg of tails per person may be exported upon application for a permit (Hearn and Toral-Granda 2007, Viteri and Chavez 2007). There is a preliminary (as yet not enforced) zonation scheme within the GMR which prohibits extractive activities in a further 18 % of the coastal waters (Hearn et al. 2007). The GMR Five-Year Fishing Calendar recognized the need to incorporate a closed season, minimum landing size, and identification of nursery areas for this species by the end of 2004. As of July 2006 that was still pending (Hearn et al. 2007).

Further research should target the early life history of this species including the identification of nursery areas, more knowledge about population status and threats across it's range, and also if it has a wider distribution than formally attributed to it.

Recommended conservation strategies include the creation of a minimum landing size and the implementation of an appropriate closed season for the harvesting of this species is necessary in order to protect the population, and in particular ovigerous females (Hearn and Toral-Granda 2007).


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