Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on author: Shaw.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 10 m (Ref. 27115), usually 0 - 4 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 26°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 28°N - 26°S, 143°E - 109°W
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 24.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710)
soft rays: 26 - 29. Dark brown, nearly black in color. Erectile spine (sharp and forward-pointing) on each side of caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove. Mouth small, snout noticeably extended. Light blue ring around chin and presence of spot of same color on gill cover at angle of gill opening. Dorsal fin with soft part having longer base than spinous part. Juveniles lack the large orange spot on caudal area.
Western Pacific: oceanic islands of Oceania to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn islands. Also known from Wake, Marcus, and Mariana islands. Eastern Central Pacific: southern tip of Baja California, Mexico (Ref. 9267) and other offshore islands.
Occurs in clear seaward reefs, usually in groups (Ref. 9710). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on filamentous and small fleshy algae (Ref. 9267). Monogamous (Ref. 52884). Spine in caudal peduncle may be venomous. Size of metamorphosis from postlarva stage to juvenile is 6 cm (Ref. 9267). This species sometimes hybridizes with A. nigricans (Ref. 9808).
Randall, J.E., 1956. A revision of the surgeonfish genus Acanthurus. Pac. Sci. 10(2):159-235.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (25 of 100) .