Checklist of Reef Fishes from Taiping Island (Itu Aba Island), Spratly Islands, South China Sea

Chen, Jeng-Ping
Jan, Rong-Quen
Shao, Kwang-Tsao
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University of Hawaii Press
A total of 49 families and 399 species of fishes was recorded from the reef area around Taiping Island (Itu Aba Island) in the Spratlys (Nansha Islands), located at 114°21'-114°23' E, 10°22'-10°23' N. Data were collected by underwater observation, specimen identification, and photography during our survey of 19-23 April 1994. A checklist, including previous records, of 50 families and 421 species was compiled. If all midwater pelagic species are taken into account, the number of fish species occurring at Taiping Island is well over 450, a figure below that anticipated for a reef island located close to the equator and Indo-Australian diversity center. Limited reef area and recent reef degradation may be the principal causes of the disparity. Czekanowski similarities for eight regions around Taiwan and in the South China Sea show that the reef fish fauna of Taiping Island most closely resembles that of Green Island, then Orchid Island, Tungsha (Pratas Island), Hsiaoliu- chiu, southern Taiwan, Penghu, and northern Taiwan in that order. The fish fauna of the western coast of Taiwan, which has a predominantly sandy environment, is most different from that of Taiping. The results suggest that the fish fauna of Taiping Island originated by larval dispersal from the Kuroshio Current as is probably the case for southern Taiwan and its adjacent islets. However, 42 species found in this survey, of which 11 are probably undescribed, are not known from the waters around Taiwan. Most of the fish species (95.7%) at Taiping Island are widely distributed, particularly in the Indo-Pacific Region. Fewer than 20 species are restricted in their distribution.
Chen JP, Jan RQ, Shao KT. 1997. Checklist of reef fishes from Taiping Island (Itu Aba Island), Spratly Islands, South China Sea. Pac Sci 51(2): 143-166.
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