Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > 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 1 - 40 m (Ref. 90102), usually 3 - 25 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 21°N - 30°S, 30°E - 116°E
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.
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).
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). Solitary or in groups (Ref. 90102). Sometimes occurs in small shoals. Grazes on benthic algae (Ref. 30573).
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. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 30298)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.7 - 29.1, mean 27.7 (based on 368 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01905 (0.00889 - 0.04085), b=2.95 (2.78 - 3.12), 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. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (28 of 100) .