Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 813–821 | Cite as

Updated checklist and analysis of completeness of the marine fish fauna of Isla del Coco, Pacific of Costa Rica

  • Manon FourriéreEmail author
  • Juan José Alvarado
  • Arturo Ayala Bocos
  • Jorge Cortés
Original Paper


Isla del Coco, Costa Rica, is one of the five groups of oceanic islands of the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), and is considered one of the most diverse. Since the mid-19th century, it has been the target of a number of scientific research expeditions that have produced specimen collections which are housed in natural history museums around the world. The fish assemblage of Isla del Coco is considered one of the most speciose and best documented group of marine organisms of the island. Despite this, recent work has resulted in a need to update the checklist for this important group. We performed a completeness analysis of the ichthyofauna of Isla del Coco based on scientific publications and reports of expeditions, specimens in foreign and national collections, and field surveys. We confirmed the presence of 514 species of marine fishes, representing an increase of approximately 23 % compared to what was previously reported. From a habitat perspective, 58 % of this assemblage is typically reef fishes, while the remaining 42 % are deep-water, and pelagic species. The average expected reef fish species richness is 318.2 ± 7.3, suggesting that the local inventory represents 93.7 % of the expected total richness. Our updated list and greater number of species has particular relevance to the conservation efforts at Isla del Coco, since current conservation efforts are protecting at least 50 % of ETP fish species and about 40 % of Costa Rica’s Pacific fish species.


Species richness Eastern Tropical Pacific Oceanic island Marine protected area Conservation 



We acknowledge the economic support of the Fonds Français pour l’Environnement Mondial (FFEM, French Fund for the World Environment), Conservation International, the Consejo Nacional de Rectores de las Universidades Públicas de Costa Rica (CONARE, National Council of Rectors of the Public Universities of Costa Rica), and the Vicerrectoría de Investigación (Research Vice Rectory) and CIMAR (Marine Science and Limnology Research Center), both at the University of Costa Rica. We are grateful to A. Beita, C. Sanchez, A.G. Guzmán, E. Salas, and J.C. Azofeifa, who helped with collecting the information on the field trips. We are grateful to the Isla del Coco National Park rangers and the Undersea Hunter Group for their field support. We appreciate the comments and suggestions provided by A. Friedlander, B. Victor, and an anonymous reviewer that greatly improved this manuscript. We would also like to thank Robert Robins from the Florida Museum of Natural History, Rick Feeney from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, H.J. Walker from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Dave Catania from the California Academy of Sciences for helping corroborate the identification of several specimens in their museums.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

12526_2016_501_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (735 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 734 kb)


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Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manon Fourriére
    • 1
    Email author
  • Juan José Alvarado
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Arturo Ayala Bocos
    • 5
  • Jorge Cortés
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology (ISATEC)Bremen UniversityBremenGermany
  2. 2.Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y LimnologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan PedroCosta Rica
  3. 3.Escuela de BiologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan PedroCosta Rica
  4. 4.Museo de ZoologíaUniversidad de Costa RicaSan PedroCosta Rica
  5. 5.Ecosistemas y Conservación: Proazul Terrestre A. C.La PazMéxico

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