Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes
(Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 5 - 20 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 12°S - 34°S, 142°E - 170°W
Western Pacific: Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea to Tonga.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 33.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334)
(total): 8 - 9;
soft rays: 18 - 31;
Vertebrae: 22. Body varying from light bluish grey to dark brown, without blue lines. Outer part of pectoral fins abruptly white, the demarcation curved such that pale area is broadest on central part of fin. Least depth of caudal peduncle 3.1 to 3.3 times in head length. Maximum standard length about 33 cm (Ref 9808).
Found off steep outer-reef escarpments. May be solitary but most commonly seen in small aggregations feeding on zooplankton well off the bottom.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.7 - 28.4, mean 26.3 °C (based on 333 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01445 (0.00639 - 0.03272), b=3.00 (2.80 - 3.20), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.45 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .