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Acanthurus coeruleus  Bloch & Schneider, 1801

Blue tang surgeonfish
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Image of Acanthurus coeruleus (Blue tang surgeonfish)
Acanthurus coeruleus
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

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: Bloch, Schneider.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 40 m (Ref. 7345), usually 2 - 18 m (Ref. 27115).   Tropical; 24°C - 26°C (Ref. 27115); 42°N - 15°S, 100°W - 4°W (Ref. 55165)

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?, range 13 - ? cm
Max length : 39.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 36453); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 26-28; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 24 - 26. A deep-bodied surgeonfish (body depth 1.7 in SL) with a conspicuous yellow caudal spine. Has the most distinctive coloration of all western Atlantic surgeonfishes (Ref. 26938).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Western Atlantic: New York, USA and Bermuda to the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil. Eastern Atlantic: Ascension Island (Ref. 7345).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabits coral reefs, inshore grassy or rocky areas. Forms small groups (Ref. 26235). Mainly diurnal. Feeds entirely on algae (Ref. 5521). At Fernando de Noronha Archipelago in southwestern Atlantic, juveniles hold cleaning stations together with the doctorfish (Acanthurus chirurgus) and sergeant major (Abudefduf saxatilis) and graze algae as well as pick molted skin and parasites from green turtles (Chelonia mydas). This behavior is preceded by a characteristic inspection usually followed by feeding nips on the turtles’ skin (head, limbs, and tail), as well as on the carapace. The most inspected and cleaned body parts are the flippers (Ref. 51385). The spine on both sides of the caudal peduncle may inflict painful wounds (Ref. 5217). Marketed fresh.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Randall, John E. | Collaborators

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Traumatogenic (Ref. 4690)




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; bait: occasionally
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

More information

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FAO areas
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Ecology
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Common names
Synonyms
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Predators
Ecotoxicology
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Spawning
Fecundity
Eggs
Egg development
Age/Size
Growth
Length-weight
Length-length
Length-frequencies
Morphometrics
Morphology
Larvae
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Aquaculture profile
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Heritability
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Stamps, Coins
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Ciguatera
Speed
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Internet sources

BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | DiscoverLife | DORIS | Faunafri | Fishtrace | GenBank(genome, nucleotide) | GOBASE | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | iSpecies | National databases | Public aquariums | PubMed | Scirus | SeaLifeBase | Tree of Life | uBio | Wikipedia(Go, Search) | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02512 (0.01557 - 0.04053), b=2.96 (2.82 - 3.10), based on LWR estimates for species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.0   ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.11-0.50).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  High vulnerability (59 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.