Dark Surgeon Click to enlarge image
A Dark Surgeon at a depth of 15m, the Cod Hole, Great Barrier Reef off Lizard Island, Queensland, June 2002. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    blochii
    Genus
    Acanthurus
    Family
    Acanthuridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    45 cm

Introduction

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

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.

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.



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.