Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on author: Günther.
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 25 m (Ref. 48637), usually 3 - 25 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115)
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 31.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145); common length : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3146)
soft rays: 22 - 23. Brown in color, specimens up to 12 cm SL with black horseshoe mark on shoulder region breaking into 2 horizontal curved bands in larger specimens; caudal spine surrounded by a black area which is then surrounded by a bluish white area; caudal fin with a white posterior border (Ref. 3145).
Indian Ocean: East Africa to Sri Lanka and the Lesser Sunda Islands of southern Indonesia. The Red Sea record by Dor (1984, Ref. 2198) is an error.
Inhabits lagoon and seaward reefs, 1 to over 20 m depth (Ref. 9710, 48637). Also found in slopes from silty inshore to outer reefs (Ref. 48637). Sometimes occurs in small shoals. Grazes on benthic algae (Ref. 30573).
Randall, J.E., 1956. A revision of the surgeonfish genus Acanthurus. Pac. Sci. 10(2):159-235.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30298)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02246 (-0.14181 - 0.18673), b=2.96 (2.88 - 3.05), based on LWR estimates for this genus-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 2.0 ±0.00 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 to moderate vulnerability (29 of 100) .