(Acanthurus chirurgus)

Acanthurus chirurgus, commonly known as the surgeonfish or doctorfish, is a species belonging to the family Acanthuridae. These fish are widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean, particularly in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.

Here are some key features and characteristics of Acanthurus chirurgus:

  1. Physical Appearance: Surgeonfish are characterized by their oval-shaped bodies, which are laterally compressed. They typically have a bright blue body with a yellow-orange stripe extending from the snout, through the eye, and along the base of the dorsal fin. The tail fin is typically yellow.
  2. Spine: One of the distinctive features of surgeonfish is the scalpel-like spine or “scalpel” located on either side of the base of the tail. This spine is used for defense and can inflict painful wounds if handled improperly.
  3. Habitat: Surgeonfish inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas, often swimming in large schools. They prefer areas with abundant algae growth, as they primarily feed on algae and other plant material.
  4. Behavior: These fish are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest at night. They play an important role in reef ecosystems by grazing on algae, which helps maintain the health of coral reefs.