Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes
(Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on author: Ahl.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 15 m (Ref. 1602), usually 3 - 15 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 31°N - 15°S, 72°E - 157°W
Indo-West Pacific: Maldives (Ref. 30829); then from the Andaman Sea (Ref. 9710) and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean to the Philippines and the Line Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to Samoa.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 48637)
soft rays: 22 - 24. Brown in color when preserved; a black bar on upper edge of gill opening; head spotted; a less intense dark mark just behind the eye, connected narrowly with the dark bar; a dark brown region around the caudal spine; outer third of upper pectoral rays pale yellow. Large adults develop a distinctly convex head profile (Ref. 1602). Gill rakers on anterior row:19-23, on posterior row: 21-24.
Inhabits clear outer reef flats and seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Solitary or in small wide-ranging groups (Ref. 9710). Usually in schools of mixed similar species when grazing algae (Ref. 48637).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 25.4 - 29.2, mean 28.6 °C (based on 1280 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02344 (0.01088 - 0.05049), 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.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate vulnerability (44 of 100) .