Ocean surgeon

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Ocean surgeon
Acanthurus bahianus SI3.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Acanthuridae
Genus: Acanthurus
A. bahianus
Binomial name
Acanthurus bahianus
Castelnau, 1855
Acanthurus bahianus range.png

The ocean surgeon or ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus) is a tropical fish known to live in reefs in the Atlantic Ocean. It is edible, and occasionally marketed fresh,[2] but more often they are used as bait or in the aquarium trade.


Ocean surgeons are known by their oval bodies with uniform color (Usually blue-gray to dark brown), the pale to dark marking around the eyes, and the light yellow is now found on their bodies. Most have blue or white markings on the dorsal fin, anal fin, and tail fins and pale bands can sometimes be seen at the base of their tails. They often swim in schools with other species such as the Atlantic blue tang surgeonfish. They have been recorded up to 38 cm (15 in) in length. Ocean surgeons have a total of 9 spines on their Dorsal fins and between 23 and 26 soft rays. Their anal fins have only 3 spines and between 21 and 23 rays. Their caudal fins are roughly emarginate, and the surgeonfish's body and head are both deep and compressed.[3][4]


Ocean surgeons inhabit coral reefs, where they feed on algae.[5] They can be found north to Massachusetts and Bermuda and south to Brazil


  1. ^ Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. (2012). Acanthurus bahianus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T177985A1511595.en
  2. ^ Baensch, H.A. and H. Debelius (1997). Meerwasser atlas. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Postfach 86, 49302, Melle, Germany. 3rd edition.
  3. ^ Randall, J.E. (1996). Caribbean reef fishes. Third Edition - revised and enlarged. T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd., Hong Kong. 3rd ed. ISBN 978-0793801176
  4. ^ Smith, C.L. (1997). National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York.
  5. ^ Randall, J.E. (1967). "Food habits of reef fishes of the West Indies" (PDF). Stud. Trop. Oceanogr. Miami. 5: 665–847.

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