Eastern Indo-Pacific Region
The Eastern Indo-Pacific Region comprises the tropical waters surrounding the mostly volcanic islands of the central Pacific Ocean, and is so-named because it is considered a part of the larger Indo-Pacific division of the world’s oceans. It extends from the Marshall Islands and the Hawaiian Islands south to Niue and the Cook Islands, and east through French Polynesia to Easter Island.
Species and subspecies
The regal seaperch (Pseudanthias regalis) is known only from the Marquesas Islands.
Cea’s scorpionfish (Rhinopias cea) is known only from two specimens collected from shallow waters off Eastern Island and Rapa, in French Polynesia.
The Society Islands scorpionfish (Scorpaena lacrimata) is known only from a single specimen collected from deep water off Tahiti.
The serrated deepwater scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis crenulata) is known only from a single specimen collected off the Wallis and Futuna Islands. The Laysan scorpionfish (S. pluralis) is known only from a single specimen collected off Laysan in the north-western Hawaiian Islands.
The sixband hawkfish (Isocirrhitus sexfasciatus) is known only from a few specimens collected in the shallow waters around the Marshall Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago, and Rapa, French Polynesia.
Randall’s hawkfish (Paracirrhites bicolor) is known only from two specimens collected in shallow waters near Caroline Atoll, Kiribati, and another two from the Tuamotu Archipelago.
The white-spotted hawkfish (Cirrhitus albopunctatus) is known only from two specimens collected in shallow waters off Niuafo’ou Island in Tonga and an additional observation record off Tutuila in American Samoa.
The Tuamotu turkeyfish (Dendrochirus tuamotuensis) is known only from a single specimen collected from the Tuamotu Archipelago.
Randall’s toadfish (Torquigener randalli) is a type of pufferfish confined to the waters off Oahu. It was last collected in 1984.
The Marquesan sharpnose pufferfish (Canthigaster marquesensis) is confined to shallow waters in the Marquesas Islands. The striped sharpnose pufferfish (C. criobe) is known only from a single specimen collected from a coral reef in the Gambier Islands. The Rapa sharpnose pufferfish (C. rapaensis) is known only from around Rapa in the Austral Islands and Tenoko in the Gambier Islands.
The Tiki soldierfish (Myripristis tiki) is known only from a few specimens collected from Rapa in French Polynesia, the Pitcairn Islands, Cook Islands, and Easter Island.
The oval-eye soldierfish (Ostichthys ovaloculus) is known only from a single specimen collected from deep waters off of Tahiti.
The Pitcairn squirrelfish (Sargocentron megalops) is known only from a single specimen collected in the Pitcairn Islands.
The longnose tang (Zebrasoma rostratum) is an uncommon coral reef species from the coral reefs of the central Pacific, where it is threatened by overcollection for the international aquarium trade.
The girdled fairy-wrasse (Cirrhilabrus balteatus) is known only from the Marshall Islands.
The margined filefish (Pervagor marginalis) is known only from a few specimens collected from the Marquesas and Line Islands, but likely also occurs on other nearby atolls.
The Nuku Hiva filefish (Cantherhines nukuhiva) is known only from a few specimens collected from the Marquesas Islands and the Tuamotu Archipelago.
Herre’s dwarf goby (Eviota herrei) is known only from the Samoan Islands.
The Medusa combtooth blenny (Medusablennius chani) is known only from its original collection on a shallow reef near Raroia, in the Tuamotu Archipelago in 1955.
Herald’s reef sole (Aseraggodes heraldi) is known only from two specimens collected from Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands. The Marquesan reef sole (A. lateralis) is known only from three specimens collected off three different islands (Ua Huka, Nuku Hiva, and Fatu Hiva) in the Marquesas. The Tahitian reef sole (A. cyclurus) is known only from three specimens collected near Tahiti, and possibly a fourth from Fiji. The Society Islands reef sole (A. auroculus) is known only from specimens collected from the Society Islands.
Mundy’s lizardfish (Synodus mundyi) is a bottom-dwelling species known only from two specimens collected near Oahu and from Penguin Bank, a submerged shield volcano.
The large-eyed wormfish (Gunnellichthys grandoculis) is known only from a single specimen collected from Arno Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1911.
The Hawaiian barbelled dragonfish (Eustomias dinema) is known only from a few specimens collected in the waters of the Hawaiian Islands.
The lined cusk-eel (Luciobrotula lineata) is known only from a single specimen found floating on the surface near a lava flow on the island of Hawaii.
The Tonga–Kermadec Ridge
The Tonga–Kermadec Ridge is an oceanic ridge located in the south-western Pacific Ocean. It stretches more than 3000 km north-north-east from New Zealand’s North Island, and is notable for a number of active submarine volcanoes.
The flat-tail sea snake (Laticauda schistorhynchus) is confined to the waters around Niue, a raised coral atoll east of Tonga.
The Tonga grouper (Epinephelus chlorocephalus) is known only from a single specimen collected between 1826 and 1829.
The Tonga sharpnose pufferfish (Canthigaster flavoreticulata) is known only from a single specimen collected from a deep, rocky reef of the Tonga Ridge.
The black foxface (Siganus niger) is a type of rabbitfish confined to coral reefs in the Tonga Islands, where it remains relatively common in some areas. It is threatened by habitat destruction and degradation as well as by overcollection for the aquarium trade.
The Hawaiian Ridge
The Hawaiian Islands are the exposed peaks of the Hawaiian Ridge, a vast undersea mountain range located in the central North Pacific.
Holcom’s reef sole (Aseraggodes holcomi) is known only from a small number of specimens collected in shallow waters off northern Oahu.
The longjaw bonefish (Albula virgata) is confined to shallow sandflats in the Hawaiian Islands.
The ornamented dragonet (Callionymus comptus) is confined to sandy reefs and lagoons in the Hawaiian Islands, where its distribution is highly fragmented.
Ball’s pipefish (Cosmocampus balli) is known only from shallow coral reefs off Oahu and Kauai.
Anthropogenic effects on the fauna
Within the Eastern Indo-Pacific Region there are 38 species currently threatened with extinction (that is to say, either Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List, as well as certain forms either listed as Data Deficient or Not Assessed but which are clearly at some risk of extinction). Of these, 1 species is a reptile and 37 species are marine fishes.