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Melichthys niger (Bloch, 1786)
BLACK TRIGGERFISH
Ebony Triggerfish; Balistes niger Bloch, 1786; Black Durgon

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Melichthys niger
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Melichthys niger

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Melichthys niger
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Melichthys niger
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body and fins black
  • bases dorsal fin and a: blue stripe
Dorsal rays III + 30-35; anal rays 28-31; pectoral rays 15- 17; anterior rays of second dorsal and anal fins moderately elevated, much longer than posterior rays; no grooves on cheek; caudal fin moderately to strongly concave.

Easily distinguished by the overall blackish coloration of the body and fins, with a pale blue line along the base of the dorsal and anal fins; head may have slight yellowish hue; thin blue lines radiating dorsally and anteriorly from eye.

Size: reaches 50 cm.

Inhabits rocky reefs and coral areas.

Depth: 0-75 m.

Circumglobal in tropical seas; southern California to the SW Gulf of California, Costa Rica and Panama, Gorgona Island (Colombia) and all the oceanic islands.


Attributes
Abundance: Common.
Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap); Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos); Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 75 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: phytoplankton; bony fishes; benthic microalgae; zooplankton; pelagic fish larvae.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=33; Southern limit=-2; Western limit=-118; Eastern limit=-79; Latitudinal range=35; Longitudinal range=39.
Egg Type: Benthic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Omnivore; Planktivore.
FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated.
Global Endemism: Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans); East Pacific + Atlantic (East +/or West); Transisthmian (East Pacific + Atlantic of Central America); East Pacific + all Atlantic (East+West); All Pacific (West + Central + East); TEP non-endemic; "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); All species.
Habitat: Corals; Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Rocks; Reef (rock &/or coral); Reef only.
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 50 cm.
Regional Endemism: Island (s); Continent; Continent + Island (s); Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; All species.
Residency: Resident.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom; Bottom only;


Names
Scientific source:

Links to other sites

References
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1994., Fishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific., Crawford House Press Pty Ltd:1-332.
  • Allen , G.R. and Robertson, D.R., 1997., An Annotated Checklist of the fishes of Clipperton Atoll, Tropical Eastern Pacific., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 45:813-843.
  • Bloch, M. E., 1786., Naturgeschichte der ausländischen Fische. Berlin., Naturg. Ausl. Fische, 2:1-160.
  • Castro-Aguirre, J.L. and Balart, E.F., 2002., La ictiofauna de las islas Revillagigedos y sus relaciones zoogeograficas, con comentarios acerca de su origen y evolucion. En: Lozano-Vilano, M. L. (Ed.). Libro Jubilar en Honor al Dr. Salvador Contreras Balderas., Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo León:153-170.
  • Edgar, G.J. Banks, S., Fariña, J.M., Calvopiña, M. and Martínez, C., 2004., Regional biogeography of shallow reef fish and macro-invertebrate communities in the Galapagos archipelago., Journal of Biogeography, 31:1107-1124.
  • Eschmeyer , W. N. , Herald , E. S. and Hamman, H., 1983., A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America from the Gulf of Alaska to Baja California. Peterson Field Guide Ser. 28., Houghton Mifflin:336pp.
  • Fischer , W. , Krup , F. , Schneider , W. , Sommer , C. , Carpenter , K. E. and Niem, V. H., 1995., Guia FAO para la Identificacion de Especies de para los fines de la Pesca. Pacifico Centro-Oriental. Volumen II. Vertebrados - Parte 1., FAO2:647-1200.
  • Garrison, G., 2000., Peces de la Isla del Coco., Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad:393.
  • Gotshall, D.W., 1996., Fishes of Rocas Alijos. In Rocas Alijos. Ed. R. W. Schmieder. Cornell Expeditions., Kluwer Academic Publishers: 347-354.
  • Grove , J.S. and Lavenberg, R. J., 1997., The fishes of the Galápagos islands., Stanford University Press:863 pp.
  • Humann, P., 1993., Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos., New World Publishing:192pp.
  • Jordan , and McGregor,., 1898., List of fishes collected at the Revillagigedo archipelago and neighboring islands., Rept. U.S. Fisheries Comm., 24:271-284.
  • Lopez , M. I. and Bussing, W. A., 1982., Lista provisional de los peces marinos de la Costa Rica., Revista de Biologia Tropical, 30(1):5-26.
  • Love, M.S., Mecklenburg, C.W., Mecklenburg, T.A., Thorsteinson, L.K., 2005., es of the West Coast and Alaska: a checklist of North Pacific and Artic Ocena species from Baja California to the Alaska-Yukon border., U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, 288pp.
  • McCosker , J.E. and Rosenblatt, R.H., 1975., Fishes collected at Malpelo Island. In Graham, J.B. (ed.) The Biological Investigation of Malpelo Island, Colombia., Smithsonian Contrib. Zool., 176:91-93.
  • Ricker, K.E., 1959., Fishes collected from the Revillagigedo Islands during the 1954-1958 cruises of the "Marijean."., Univ. Brit. Columbia Inst. Fish., Mus. Contrib., 4:10pp.
  • Robertson , D.R. and Allen, G.A., 1996., Zoogeography of the shorefish fauna of Clipperton Atoll., Coral Reefs, 15:121-131.
  • Rosenblatt , R.H. , McCosker , J.E. and Rubinoff, I., 1972., Indo-west Pacific fishes from the Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama., Contrib. Sci. Nat. Hist. Mus. Los Angeles Co., 234:18pp.
  • Snodgrass , R. E. and Heller, E., 1905., Papers from the Hopkins Stanford Galapagos expedition, 1898-1899. XVII. Shorefishes of the Revillagigedo, Clipperton, Cocos and Galapagos Island., Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 6:333-427.
  • Van der Heiden , A. M. and Findley, L. T., 1988., Lista de los peces marinos del sur de Sinaloa, México., Anales del Centro de Ciencias del Mar y Limnologia de la Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Mexico, 15:209-224.
  • Villareal-Cavazos, A., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Bermúdez-Almada, B. and Arizpe-Covarrubias, O., 2000., Los peces del arrecife de Cabo Pulmo, Golfo de California, México: Lista sistemática y aspectos de abundancia y biogeografía., Rev. Biol. Trop., 48:413-424.
  • Walker, B. W. and Baldwin, W. J., 1964., Provisional check list of fishes of the Revillagigedo islands., 18 pp.

Acknowledgements

I thank Ashley MacDonald and John Pickering, University of Georgia, for technical support in building this page.


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