Common names from other countries
Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes
(Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on authors: Bloch & Schneider.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 46 m (Ref. 1602), usually 9 - 46 m (Ref. 1602). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 35°N - 32°S, 95°E - 139°W
Pacific Ocean: Christmas Island and Cocos-Keeling Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto islands, north to Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. Replaced by Acanthurus tennenti in the Indian Ocean (Ref. 37816).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 35.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334)
soft rays: 22 - 24. Body of adult dark grayish brown; juveniles yellow; posterior to upper end of gill opening is a bright orange horizontal band, with purplish black border. Head and anterior half of body usually abruptly paler than the posterior half. Anterior gill rakers 24-28; posterior 23-27. Large adult males (about 17 cm) with more definite convexity of snout profile.
Inhabit seaward reefs, in areas of bare rock or mixed rubble and sand, from 9 to at least 46 m depth; juveniles inhabit protected bays and lagoons, singly or in small groups in as little as 3 m (Ref. 1602, 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Adults occur singly or in schools and feed on surface film of detritus, diatoms, and fine filamentous algae covering sand and bare rock (Ref. 1602). Rarely poisonous (Ref. 4795).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Randall, J.E., 1956. A revision of the surgeonfish genus Acanthurus. Pac. Sci. 10(2):159-235. (Ref. 1920)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.5 - 28.7, mean 27.3 (based on 356 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02570 (0.01645 - 0.04016), b=3.01 (2.88 - 3.14), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.3 ±0.17 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 (18 of 100) .