Thompson’s Tang

(Acanthurus thompsoni)

Acanthurus thompsoni, commonly known as Thompson’s surgeonfish or the white-tailed surgeonfish, is a species of tang belonging to the family Acanthuridae. Here are some key characteristics and information about Acanthurus thompsoni:

  1. Physical Appearance: Thompson’s surgeonfish has a typical tang body shape with a laterally compressed body and a pointed snout. It is characterized by a striking color pattern: the body is generally grayish-blue to brownish with a prominent white band running horizontally along the base of the dorsal fin and another white band near the base of the tail. The tail fin is typically white or yellowish, giving it the name “white-tailed surgeonfish.”
  2. Size: They can grow to a maximum length of about 25-30 centimeters (10-12 inches).
  3. Distribution: Acanthurus thompsoni is found in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. Its range includes regions such as the Red Sea, eastern Africa, Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, and extending to the western Pacific islands like the Chagos Archipelago and the Philippines.
  4. Habitat: White-tailed surgeonfish are typically found in coral reefs and rocky areas with rich coral growth. They prefer areas with moderate water movement and ample hiding places among corals and rocky crevices. They are often seen grazing on algae-covered substrates.