Acanthurus achilles Shaw, 1803
Achilles tang
Acanthurus achilles
photo by Malaer, P.

Family:  Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes), subfamily: Acanthurinae
Max. size:  24 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 10 m
Distribution:  Western Pacific: oceanic islands of Oceania to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn islands. Also known from Wake, Marcus, and Mariana islands. Eastern Central Pacific: southern tip of Baja California, Mexico (Ref. 9267) and other offshore islands.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-33; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 26-29. Dark brown, nearly black in color. Erectile spine (sharp and forward-pointing) on each side of caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove. Mouth small, snout noticeably extended. Light blue ring around chin and presence of spot of same color on gill cover at angle of gill opening. Dorsal fin with soft part having longer base than spinous part. Juveniles lack the large orange spot on caudal area.
Biology:  Occurs in clear seaward reefs, usually in groups (Ref. 9710). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on filamentous and small fleshy algae (Ref. 9267). Monogamous (Ref. 52884). Spine in caudal peduncle may be venomous. Size of metamorphosis from postlarva stage to juvenile is 6 cm (Ref. 9267). This species sometimes hybridizes with A. nigricans (Ref. 9808).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 03 May 2010 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  traumatogenic
Country info:   

Entered by: Froese, Rainer - 22.05.91
Modified by: OrtaƱez, Auda Kareen - 23.01.08
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 08.06.95

Source and more info: For personal, classroom, and other internal use only. Not for publication.

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