Family Acanthuridae

Species Worldwide: 72 (6 genera)

Species In Hawaii: 24

Endemic species in Hawaii: 1 - (Convict tang)


Members of this family can be recognised by having 1 or 2 spines on the caudal peduncle that is used for defence or fighting and can cause painful wounds on other fish (or humans!) if provoked. The spines may even be venomous in some species. The acanthurid fishes usually have highly compressed bodies and a small mouth adapted to grazing algae. Some species also feed on plankton and detritus. The family is commonly recognised on coral reefs around the world and includes, besides the species usually considered the true surgeonfish, also the unicornfish and the sawtails.

Achilles tang

Acanthurus achilles

Ringtail surgeonfish

Acanthurus blochii (mata)

Eye-stripe surgeonfish

Acanthurus dussumieri

White-bar surgeonfish

Acanthurus leucopareius

Orangebar surgeonfish

Acanthurus olivaceus

Lavender tang

Acanthurus nigrofuscus

Blue-lined surgeonfish

Acanthurus nigroris

Convict tang (manini)
Acanthurus triostegus

Black surgeonfish

Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis

Gold-ring surgeonfish

Ctenochaetus strigosus

Orange-spine unicornfish

Naso lituratus

Blue-spine unicornfish

Naso unicornis

Yellow tang

Zebrasoma flavescens