Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes)

Genus/species: Acanthurus lineatus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Lined Surgeonfish has a compressed and disc-like body with a large venomous, scalpel-like caudal spine on each side of the caudal peduncle. The body is yellowish-green, with bright blue stripes edged with black most pronounced on the flank. The stripes on the belly are lavender blue to bluish-white on the belly. The pelvic fins are bright orange.
Length to 38 cm (15 in)

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus 8624034686_90d26c8326_o


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from East Africa north to southern Japan and south to New South Wales, Australia found on exposed outer reef areas at depths of 3-9 ft.

DIET IN THE WILD: Herbivorous, browses on algae but also feeds on crustaceans.

Lined Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus

REPRODUCTION: Large males patrol defined feeding areas and maintain harems of females. Migrates to and spawns in aggregations at specific sites, although they sometimes spawn in pairs. Spawning occurs year-round at lower latitudes but may be seasonal at higher latitudes. The eggs and larvae are pelagic.

MORTALITY: It is estimated that this species can live 30 to 45 years.

CONSERVATION: Least concern.

REMARKS: The venomous caudal spines are very effective defense mechanisms for surgeonfish. They are razor-sharp and useful weapons against attack. The lined surgeonfish was first described in 1758 by Carl Linnaeus.


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