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 1 - 30 m (Ref. 9710), usually 2 - 15 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 23°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 30°N - 24°S, 39°E - 143°W
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145)
soft rays: 23 - 26. Color in life dark brown without lines on body or spots on head (one phase is purplish grey); horizontal black band behind upper gill opening absent on juveniles <6 cm SL; elongate purple band may be present anterior to dorsal origin; caudal fin brown; outer third of pectoral fin pale. Species with gizzard-like stomach.
Indo-Pacific: East Africa, including the Mascarene Islands (Ref. 37792) to the Tuamoto Islands, north to Ryukyu Islands, south to southern Great Barrier Reef. Not occurring in the Red Sea.
Occurs in clear lagoon and seaward reefs around isolated coral heads. Solitary or in small groups (Ref. 90102). Prefers sandy bottoms of bays and lagoons rather than the coral reefs like most other Acanthuridae. The species is sometimes poisonous (Ref. 4795). Caught with nets (Ref. 30573).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Paired spawning (Ref. 240).
Randall, J.E., 1987. Three nomenclatorial changes in Indo-Pacific surgeonfishes (Acanthurinae). Pac. Sci. 41(1-4):54-61. (Ref. 1921)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Poisonous to eat (Ref. 4795)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02188 (0.01799 - 0.02660), b=2.96 (2.92 - 3.00), based on LWR estimates for this species (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.40 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) .