Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes
(Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae
(Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335). More on author: Steindachner.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 5 - 200 m (Ref. 7345), usually 5 - 40 m (Ref. 27115). Tropical; 20°C - 25°C (Ref. 27115); 31°N - 15°S, 27°W - 14°E
Eastern Atlantic: from the coasts of Morocco to Angola (Ref. 3149); including Cape Verde archipelagos and the Canaries. Also recorded from southern Spain, Tunisia, Algeria, Israel and Greece (Ref. 112505).
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 45.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3148); common length : 38.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3148)
Coastal species found in the mouth of rivers and lagoons (Ref. 7345). Found on rocky and coral bottoms (Ref. 2683). Feeds on zooplankton, phytoplankton and detritus (Ref. 28587). Minimum depth reported from Ref. 27115.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Desoutter, M., 1990. Acanthuridae. p. 962-964. In J.C. Quero, J.C. Hureau, C. Karrer, A. Post and L. Saldanha (eds.) Check-list of the fishes of the eastern tropical Atlantic (CLOFETA). JNICT, Lisbon; SEI, Paris; and UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 7345)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 123416)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningSpawning aggregationFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingNutrientsMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 21.9 - 28, mean 26.5 °C (based on 118 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02188 (0.01261 - 0.03794), b=2.95 (2.80 - 3.10), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 2.5 ±0.24 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 to high vulnerability (46 of 100) .
Nutrients (Ref. 124155
): Calcium = 172 [54, 489] mg/100g ; Iron = 1.33 [0.45, 3.46] mg/100g ; Protein = 16.9 [15.8, 17.9] % ; Omega3 = 0.4 [0.2, 1.0] g/100g ; Selenium = 34.6 [10.2, 113.0] μg/100g ; VitaminA = 11.4 [3.6, 37.0] μg/100g ; Zinc = 2.48 [0.81, 5.33] mg/100g (wet weight);