Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes
(Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on author: Fowler.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution 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 - 124°W
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.
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).
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).
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. 124695)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.6 - 28.8, mean 27.6 °C (based on 1218 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02344 (0.01103 - 0.04981), b=2.96 (2.79 - 3.13), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.41 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (25 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 90.7 [26.1, 255.2] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.14 [0.39, 3.31] mg/100g ; Protein = 17.7 [16.5, 18.9] % ; Omega3 = 0.303 [0.110, 0.841] g/100g ; Selenium = 15.3 [4.3, 84.7] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 113 [28, 442] μg/100g ; Zinc = 2.43 [0.78, 5.05] mg/100g (wet weight);