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Acanthurus guttatus Forster, 1801
Spotband Surgeonfish; White-spotted Surgeon; White-spotted Surgeonfish

Life   Vertebrata   Fish   Acanthuridae   Acanthurus

Acanthurus guttatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Acanthurus guttatus

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Acanthurus guttatus
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Acanthurus guttatus

Main identification features
  • dark grey + 2 white bars
  • rear body - small white spots
Whitespotted Surgeonfish

Body deep, oval; snout slightly elongated; dorsal fin IX, 27-30; anal fin III, 23-26; pectoral rays 15-17; gill rakers 21-24; tail fin slightly concave; each side of caudal peduncle with a single, sharp, forward-pointing erectile spine.

Color: Head, body and dorsal and anal fins dark grey brown; a white bar on head behind eye and another on body just behind pectoral base; dorsal, anal and body behind second bar with many small white spots; pelvic fins bright yellow; tail fin pale yellow with a broad black rear edge.

Reaches 26cm

Habitat : Restricted to shallow surgy areas of seaward reef environments.

Depth range: 0-10m

Widely distributed throughout the tropical Indo-central Pacific but, in the tropical eastern Pacific is known only from Clipperton. The first record of this species in the Tropical Eastern Pacific was made by Philippe Bearez and Bernard SÚret (during the Jean-Louis Etienne Expedition), who observed three large adults, and collected one of them, during March 2005. Since only a few similar-sized individuals were seen this species is probably present as a vagrant. This conspicuous, readily recognizable species was not observed at Clipperton during expeditions there in 1994 and 1998 by DR Robertson.

Cites: Not listed.
Climate Zone: Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo).
Depth Range Max: 10 m.
Depth Range Min: 0 m.
Diet: benthic microalgae.
Eastern Pacific Range: Northern limit=11; Southern limit=11; Western limit=-110; Eastern limit=-110; Latitudinal range=1; Longitudinal range=1.
Egg Type: Pelagic; Pelagic larva.
Feeding Group: Herbivore.
FishBase Habitat: Reef Associated.
Global Endemism: Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans); "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific); TEP non-endemic; All species.
Habitat: Reef only; Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom); Reef (rock &/or coral).
Inshore Offshore: Inshore; Inshore Only.
IUCN Red List: Not evaluated / Listed.
Length Max: 26 cm.
Regional Endemism: Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic; Eastern Pacific non-endemic; Island (s) only; Island (s); All species.
Residency: Vagrant.
Salinity: Marine; Marine Only.
Water Column Position: Bottom;

Scientific source:

Links to other sites

  • Bloch , M. E. and Schneider, J. G., 1801., M. E. Blochii, Systema Ichthyologiae iconibus cx illustratum. Post obitum auctoris opus inchoatum absolvit, correxit, interpolavit Jo. Gottlob Schneider, Saxo. Berolini. Sumtibus Austoris Impressum et Bibliopolio Sanderiano Commissum., Systema Ichthyol., :1-584.


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Acanthurus guttatus, Whitespotted surgeonfish : fisheries, aquarium

Common name (e.g. trout)

Genus + Species (e.g. Gadus morhua)

Acanthurus guttatus Forster , 1801

Whitespotted surgeonfish Add your observation in Fish Watcher
Native range | All suitable habitat | Point map | Year 2100
This map was computer-generated and has not yet been reviewed.
Acanthurus guttatus   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Pictures | Videos | Google image Image of Acanthurus guttatus (Whitespotted surgeonfish) Acanthurus guttatus
Picture by Randall, J.E.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes( genus , species ) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopteri (ray-finned fishes) > Acanthuriformes (Surgeonfishes) > Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335 ) .  More on author: Forster .

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 8 m (Ref. 89972 ).   Tropical; 30°N - 30°S, 52°E - 140°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: oceanic islands in the western Indian Ocean to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia and Rapa.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: L m   ?   range ? - ? cm
Max length : 26.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710 )

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27-30; Anal spines : 3; Anal soft rays : 23 - 26. Preserved color is brown; spotted, white spots usually bordered with dark brown (may help conceal it in turbulent water that is often filled with small bubbles). Pelvic fins bright yellow. Each side of caudal peduncle with a single, sharp, forward-pointing erectile spine. Gill rakers on anterior row: 21-24; gill rakers on posterior row: 19-23.

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Occurs in surge zone of clear seaward reefs (Ref. 9710 , 58302 ). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302 ); mainly oceanic and found schooling in shallow depths over reef flats subject to surge or currents (Ref. 48637 ). Browses on filamentous and calcareous algae. Forms schools.

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Randall, John E. | Collaborators

Randall, J.E. , 1956. A revision of the surgeonfish genus Acanthurus . Pac. Sci. 10(2):159-235. (Ref. 1920 )

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 123251 )

  Least Concern (LC)  ; Date assessed: 03 May 2010

CITES (Ref. 123416 )

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361 )

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans


Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial FAO - Publication: search | FishSource | Sea Around Us

More information

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Food items
Food consumption
Common names
Spawning aggregation
Egg development
Larval dynamics
Aquaculture profile
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Internet sources

Alien/Invasive Species database | Aquatic Commons | BHL | Cloffa | Websites from users | Check FishWatcher | CISTI | Catalog of Fishes : genus , species | DiscoverLife | DORIS | ECOTOX | FAO - Publication: search | Faunafri | Fishipedia | Fishtrace | GenBank: genome , nucleotide | GloBI | Google Books | Google Scholar | Google | IGFA World Record | MitoFish | National databases | Otolith Atlas of Taiwan Fishes | PubMed | Reef Life Survey | Socotra Atlas | Tree of Life | Wikipedia: Go , Search | World Records Freshwater Fishing | Zoobank | Zoological Record

Estimates based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969 ): 25 - 29.3, mean 28.2 °C (based on 1389 cells). Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805 ):  PD 50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high]. Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02884 (0.01663 - 0.05002), b=2.97 (2.83 - 3.11), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245 ). Trophic level (Ref. 69278 ):  2.0   ±0.00 se; based on food items. Resilience (Ref. 120179 ):  High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.). Vulnerability (Ref. 59153 ):  Low to moderate vulnerability (25 of 100) . Price category (Ref. 80766 ):   Medium . Nutrients (Ref. 124155 ):  Calcium = 75.5 [24.4, 179.3] mg/100g ; Iron = 0.93 [0.36, 2.38] mg/100g ; Protein = 18.5 [17.4, 19.7] % ; Omega3 = 0.116 [0.056, 0.238] g/100g ; Selenium = 18.5 [6.6, 52.9] ╬╝g/100g ; VitaminA = 27.2 [7.1, 99.7] ╬╝g/100g ; Zinc = 2.65 [0.83, 5.09] mg/100g (wet weight);

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