Animal Species:Dark Surgeon, Acanthurus blochii (Valenciennes, 1835)

As its standard name suggests the Dark Surgeon can look black underwater. It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific.

A Dark Surgeon at the Cod Hole

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Dark Surgeon

Alternative Name/s

Dark Surgeonfish, Ringtail Surgeonfish

Identification

The Dark Surgeon is blue-grey with a yellow spot behind the eye and a white bar at the base of the caudal fin. It has a dark region around the caudal peduncle spine and dark blue to black median fins.

Underwater this fish may appear black with a lighter bar across the caudal peduncle.

Size range

45 cm

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia it is known from the offshore reefs of north-western Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef to southern New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Acanthurus blochii

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Dark Surgeon specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Classification

Species:
blochii
Genus:
Acanthurus
Family:
Acanthuridae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433. Kuiter, R.H & H. Debelius. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and their relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Acanthuroidei. TMC Publishing. Pp. 208.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Dark Surgeon, Acanthurus blochii, Acanthuridae, Dark Surgeonfish, blue, yellow, round, 30 cm - 1 m, countershaded, tropical marine, adult,