Animal Species:Eyestripe Surgeonfish, Acanthurus dussumieri (Valenciennes, 1835)

Not surprisingly, the Eyestripe Surgeonfish is named after the yellow stripe through the eyes. This tropical species has a white spine on the caudal peduncle.

An Eyestripe Surgeonfish from North Solitary Island.

An Eyestripe Surgeonfish from North Solitary Island.
Photographer: Ian Shaw © Ian Shaw

Standard Common Name

Eyestripe Surgeonfish


The Eyestripe Surgeonfish can be recognised by its colouration. It has a yellowish brown body covered with irregular blue lines. Its head is yellow with blue spots and lines. There is an irregular yellow spot behind the eye, and a yellow band across the interorbital.

The dorsal and anal fins are yellow with a blue margin and a blue stripe at the base. The caudal fin is blue with black spots.

All species in the genus Acanthurus have an erectile spine on the caudal peduncle. The spine of the Eyestripe Surgeonfish is white. The socket and membrane attached to the spine are black.

Size range

The species grows to 50 cm in length.


The species is found in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

In Australia it is recorded in north-western Western Australian waters and from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland to the central coast of 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 dussumieri

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Eyestripe Surgeonfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. 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 fishes, ichthyology, Eyestripe Surgeonfish, Acanthurus dussumieri, green, grey, blue, yellow, round, 30 cm - 1 m, dots/spots, no pattern, coral reef, marine, adult,