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Temporal range: 55–0 Ma

Early Eocene to Present[1]
Acanthurus chirurgus - pone.0010676.g183.png
Acanthurus chirurgus
Acanthurus coeruleus - pone.0010676.g184.png
Acanthurus coeruleus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Acanthuridae
Subfamily: Acanthurinae
Genus: Acanthurus
Forsskål, 1775
Type species
Teuthis hepatus

Acanthurus is a genus of fish in the family Acanthuridae found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean. They are found in tropical oceans, especially near coral reefs, with most species in the Indo-Pacific but a few are found in the Atlantic Ocean. As other members of the family, they have a pair of spines, one on either side of the base of the tail which are dangerously sharp.[2]


There are currently 40 recognized species in this genus:


  1. ^ Sepkoski, J.J.Jr (2002): A Compendium of Fossil Marine Animal Genera. Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Bulletins of American Paleontology, 363: 1-560.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer, and Daniel Pauly, eds. (2016). Species of Acanthurus in FishBase. October 2016 version.
  3. ^ Carpenter, K.E., Williams, J.T. & Santos, M.D. (2017): Acanthurus albimento, a new species of surgeonfish (Acanthuriformes: Acanthuridae) from northeastern Luzon, Philippines, with comments on zoogeography. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation, 25: 33–46.
  4. ^ Randall, J.E., DiBattista, J.D. & Wilcox, C. (2011): Acanthurus nigros Günther, a Valid Species of Surgeonfish, Distinct from the Hawaiian A. nigroris Valenciennes. Pacific Science, 65 (2): 265–275.
  5. ^ Bernal, M.A. & Rocha, L.A. (2011): Acanthurus tractus Poey, 1860, a valid western Atlantic species of surgeonfish (Teleostei, Acanthuridae), distinct from Acanthurus bahianus Castelnau, 1855. Zootaxa, 2905: 63–68.