Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; reef-associated; depth range 4 - 119 m (Ref. 58302), usually 5 - 70 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 24°C - 27°C (Ref. 27115); 23°N - 29°S, 32°E - 147°W (Ref. 57244)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 27.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145)
soft rays: 23 - 26. Body uniformly brown to dark brown; caudal fin pale in color (snow white in live fishes). Small, dark spot below and adjacent to axil of pectoral fin. Anterior gill rakers 15-18; posterior 14-16. Snout length 7.9 to 8.2 times in SL. Least depth of caudal peduncle 2.2 to 2.5 times in head length (Ref 9808).
Indo-Pacific: East Africa, including the Mascarene Islands (Ref. 37792) to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Rapa (Austral Islands). The Indian Ocean population is without the white caudal fin.
This occasionally schooling species occurs in steep outer reef slopes and drop-offs (Ref. 1602, 48637). Benthopelagic over coral and sand (Ref. 58302). Feeds on zooplankton, particularly large gelatinous forms, and on fish eggs and crustaceans (Ref. 1920).
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
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
): 3.4 ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (26 of 100) .