Juvenile Convict Surgeon, Acanthurus triostegus Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Juvenile Convict Surgeon, Acanthurus triostegus. Image: Rick Winterbottom (ROM)
© Rick Winterbottom (ROM)

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    triostegus
    Genus
    Acanthurus
    Family
    Acanthuridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 27 cm in length.

Introduction

The species can be recognised by its shape and banded pattern.



Identification

The Convict Surgeon was considered a widespread species. Some authorities consider the Hawaiian Convict Surgeonfish (video, above) a subspecies (Acanthurus triostegus sandvicensis). Others believe it is a distinct species in its own right, Acanthurus sandvicensis. It differs in having a dark streak at the pectoral fin base rather than a spot, two spots or a short bar and higher numbers of dorsal and anal fin soft rays (Randall, 2002).

Distribution

It occurs in tropical, inshore waters of the Indo-Pacific.

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.



Feeding and diet

It is a herbivorous species.

Breeding behaviours

According to Randall, "Spawning occurs in aggregations at dusk'.

References

  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, Honolulu Hawai'i. Pp. 123.
  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.