Saint Paul's gregory (Stegastes sanctipauli)

loading
Saint Paul's gregory amongst coral
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Saint Paul's gregory fact file

Saint Paul's gregory description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumChordata
ClassActinopterygii
OrderPerciformes
FamilyPomacentridae
GenusStegastes (1)

Saint Paul’s gregory (Stegastes sanctipauli) is an attractive fish belonging to a group more commonly know as the damselfish (2). Members of the Pomacentridae family are typically deep-bodied, flattened from side to side, and are often highly colourful (3). The bright yellow body of Saint Paul’s gregory is flanked with small brown marks along the back (4).

Size
Length: up to 9 cm (2)
Top

Saint Paul's gregory biology

Considered one of the most numerous species in the waters around Saint Paul’s Rocks, Saint Paul’s gregory plays an important role in the ecosystem (5). It is primarily thought to be a territorial herbivore which aggregates around reefs and grazes on benthic algae (5). However, research has shown that it may sometimes prey opportunistically upon fish eggs and small benthic invertebrates (5). Juvenile Saint Paul’s gregorys are also known to engage in cleaning behaviour where they remove dead skin and parasites from the skin of visiting fish (8). Its varied diet allows this adaptable fish to thrive in the harsh oceanic environment it lives in (5).

Little is known about the courtship and breeding of the Saint Paul’s gregory due to its isolated and remote location. However, damselfish are generally known to be highly territorial with females laying clusters of adhesive oval-shaped eggs on coral or rocks which are then guarded by the male (2) (3).

Top

Saint Paul's gregory range

Saint Paul’s gregory is endemic to an isolated cluster of rocky islands known as Saint Paul’s Rocks, located around 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Brazil, in the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago (4) (5). This archipelago consists of around 15 small islands in total, with Saint Paul’s Rocks measuring only around 400 metres across (6) (7).

Top

Saint Paul's gregory habitat

Saint Paul’s gregory flourishes in shallow rock pools at depths of up to 60 metres, where it usually occurs amongst rocks and rubble (2).

Top

Saint Paul's gregory status

Saint Paul's gregory is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

Top

Saint Paul's gregory threats

Although Saint Paul’s gregory is not thought to be directly affected by human activities, its extremely restricted range means that it is vulnerable to chance natural events such as extreme weather conditions (9). It is not thought to be currently targeted by any commercial fisheries (9).

Top

Saint Paul's gregory conservation

Although there are currently no specific conservation efforts aimed at Saint Paul’s gregory, the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago was designated as an environmentally protected area (APA) in 1986, thus affording this species some protection (10).

An extensive evaluation of the distribution and population size of the endemic species of Saint Paul’s Rocks is required in order to evaluate possible threats and identify the species most at risk of extinction (9).

Top

Find out more

Find more information on the scientific station of Saint Peter and Saint Paul’s Archipelago:

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

This species information was authored as part of the ARKive and Universities Scheme.
Top

Glossary

Algae
Simple plants that lack roots, stems and leaves but contain the green pigment chlorophyll. Most occur in marine and freshwater habitats.
Benthic
Relating to the lowermost region of a body of water such as an ocean or lake, or to the organisms that live there.
Endemic
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Herbivore
An animal that consumes only vegetable matter.
Invertebrates
Animals with no backbone, such as insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, spiders, cnidarians (jellyfish, corals, sea anemones) and echinoderms.
Territorial
Describes an animal, a pair of animals or a group that occupies and defends an area.
Top

References

  1. IUCN Red List (July, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  2. Fishbase - Saint Paul’s gregory (July, 2011)
    http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?ID=12520&AT=Saint+Paul's+gregory
  3. Stokes, F. (1994) Diver’s and Snorkeler’s Guide to the Fishes and Sea Life of the Caribbean, Florida, Bahamas and Bermuda. The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, Philadelphia.
  4. Dias, E., Souza, A. and Molina, W. (2007) Lack of interpopulation genetic structure in the genus Stegastes (Perciformes) with indication of local introgression. Genetics and Molecular Research, 6(4): 1097-1106.
  5. Feitoza, B., Rocha, L., Luiz-Junior, O., Floeter, S. and Gasparini, J. (2003) Reef fishes of Saint Paul’s Rocks: new records and notes on biology and zoogeography. Aqua Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology, 7(2): 1-22.
  6. Edwards, A. and Lubbock, R. (1983) Marine zoogeography of St Paul's rocks. Journal of Biogeography, 10(1): 65-72.
  7. Vaske Jr, T., Lessa, R., de Nobrega, M., Montealegre-Quijano, S., Marcante Santana, F and Bezerra Jr, J. (2005) A checklist of fishes from Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago, Brazil. Journal of Applied Ichthyology, 21(1): 75-79.
  8. Gasparini, J. Luiz, O. and Sazima, I. (2008) Cleaners from underground. Coral Reefs, 27: 143.
  9. Luiz, O., Joyeux, J. and Gasparini, J. (2007) Rediscovery of Anthias salmopunctatus Lubbock & Edwards, 1981, with comments on its natural history and conservation. Journal of Fish Biology, 70: 1283-1286.
  10. Global Legal Information Network - Declaration of the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Archipelago as an environmentally protected area, 1986 (July, 2011)
    http://www.glin.gov/view.action?glinID=23607
X
Close

Image credit

Saint Paul's gregory amongst coral  
Saint Paul's gregory amongst coral

© Andre Seale / imagequestmarine.com

Image Quest Marine
The Moos
Poffley End
Witney
Oxfordshire
OX29 9UW
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1993 704050
Fax: +44 (0) 1993 779203
info@imagequestmarine.com
http://www.imagequestmarine.com/stock

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Saint Paul's gregory (Stegastes sanctipauli) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog