Image: Whitespotted Surgeonfish, Acanthurus guttatus

Whitespotted Surgeonfish, Acanthurus guttatus

A Whitespotted Surgeonfish at a depth of 0.5 m on a coral reef, Mauritius, 6 May 2012.

Hilary Jones
© Hilary Jones


The Whitespotted Surgeonfish occurs widely throughout the Indo-west Pacific. In Australia it is known from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.  It grows to about 28 cm in length.

The species name guttatus comes from Greek and means 'spotted'. According to fish expert Dr Jack Randall, the white spots "are thought to serve as camouflage when swimming near breaking waves where surface waters mix with small air-bubbles".


  1. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  2. Randall, J.E. 2002. Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i and the World. Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press. Pp. 125.

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Tags Whitespotted Surgeonfish, Acanthurus guttatus, Acanthuridae, deep-bodied, spots, dots, white, adult, marine, bands, yellow, black, brown, 10 cm - 30 cm,