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Shallow Water Lagoon and Reef Fishes Observed at Nukunonu Atoll, Tokelau

Publication Info

Added 2015-08-05
Publication date: 2015-08-05
doi: 10.5479/si.0077-5630.607

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Shallow Water Lagoon and Reef Fishes Observed at Nukunonu Atoll, Tokelau

Hickson Fergusson (Author)

Tokelau comprises three small atolls in the central Pacific Ocean and is rarely visited by biologists due to its difficult access. Despite occasional visits by fisheries officers and some scientific collections made in the 1960s, very little has been recorded of the diversity of the fish fauna, and no checklist of the fishes of Tokelau has ever been published. In 2012 seven sites around Nukunonu atoll were snorkelled and the fish species recorded. A total of 143 species in 37 families were identified and the majority photographed, including four species with unusual or rare color forms and one hybrid. The species recorded indicate a diverse fish fauna comparable to those of Tokelau’s neighbors. Using the results of this study, the specimens held in the scientific collections, and species mentioned in the literature, a provisional checklist of the fishes of Tokelau has been developed. 

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