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 6 - 50 m (Ref. 37816), usually 30 - ? m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 23°C - 29°C (Ref. 27115); 30°N - 24°S, 32°E - 179°E
Indo-West Pacific: Mozambique (Ref. 1920) and Maldives to the western Pacific.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334)
soft rays: 25 - 26. Body brown; a round black spot at upper gill opening; dark blue line just below the bases of dorsal and anal fins. Dorsal fin with soft part having longer base than spinous part. Minute scales. Gill rakers in anterior row 19-23, posterior 22-24. A dark brown area surrounding the caudal spine. Large males develop highly convex foreheads that extend beyond the mouth (Ref. 1602).
Occurs in clear seaward reef slopes, below 15 m, usually below 30 m (Ref. 9710). Adults mainly on deep coastal reef slopes and outer reef walls (Ref. 48637). Found singly or in pairs (Ref. 9710). Feeds on algal film on bare rocks (Ref. 9710). Juveniles found in shallow protected reefs, usually between soft coral, in 0.2-3 m depth (Ref. 9710).
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. 125652)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 123201
): 24.5 - 28.4, mean 27.5 °C (based on 214 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82804
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02291 (0.01088 - 0.04824), 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
): 2.0 ±0.00 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Fishing Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (40 of 100).
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 47.2 [14.9, 109.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.754 [0.294, 1.907] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.6 [17.4, 19.7] % ; Omega3 = 0.105 [0.050, 0.214] g/100g ; Selenium = 21.2 [7.7, 61.9] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 22.3 [5.7, 84.3] μg/100g ; Zinc = 2.22 [0.70, 4.25] mg/100g (wet weight);