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Acanthurus triostegus

Linnaeus, 1758

Convict surgeonfish


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Latin name : Acanthurus triostegus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms : Convict Tang, Kichu
Classification : Acanthuridae ( Surgeonfishes )
Name : Chirurgien bagnard
Manini (Hawaii, Polynésie Française)
Name : Convict surgeonfish
Manini (Hawaii, French Polynesia)
Main identification characters
This is one of Guam’s most abundant surgeonfishes , occurring in nearly all hard-bottomed areas of both protected and exposed reefs from 0 to over 30 m. Size : Up to 27 cm.

It is most abundant on outer reef flats and shallow, seaward reefs where it occurs in vast schools which sometimes include scarids, siganids, and other acanthurids.

Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 22-26; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 19-22. Body olivaceous gray, with 4 vertical stripes (1 stripe on head across the yellow eye; 1 on caudal peduncle); shading to white ventrally, often with a sharp line of demarcation. Sharp, forward-pointing, erectile spine on each side of caudal peduncle which folds down into a groove. Scales minute. Teeth with denticulations on sides and top. Gill rakers 18-22 in anterior row, 19-24 in posterior row.
Possible confusions
Feel free to update this datasheet and complete this data.
Through sheer numbers, members of these schools collectively overcome the defenses of territorial herbivores as they roam the reef grazing on filamentous algae.
Cycle of life / Reproduction
During spawning, clouds of eggs and sperm are preyed upon by eagle rays which are often present during spawning. Form spawning aggregations (Ref. 27825). Size of metamorphosis from postlarva stage to juvenile is 3.2 cm.
Interaction with other species
Existing reports of ciguatera poisoning.

Occur in lagoon and seaward reefs with hard substrate; young abundant in tide pools. Occasionally form schools; feed on filamentous algae in large aggregations.
Geographical distribution
Indo-pan-Pacific: East Africa to Panama, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe, Rapa and Ducie Islands; throughout Micronesia and French Polynésia. Subspecies sandvicensis in the Hawaiian Islands.
Websites :
http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?genusname=Acanthuru [...]
http://www.uog.edu/marinelab/fish/species_html/acanthurus.triostegus.h [...]

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Rudie H. Kuiter & Helmut Debelius
Ulmer Editions
Data sheet written by Christophe Naslain , 30/10/2002

Updates :
Christophe Naslain - 08/11/2002
Christophe Naslain - 08/08/2003

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