Night Surgeonfish, Acanthurus thompsoni (Fowler 1923)

Other Names: Chocolate Surgeonfish, Night Surgeon, Thompson's Surgeonfish, Thompson's Tang, Whitetail Surgeonfish

A Night Surgeonfish, Acanthurus thompsoni, at Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia, February 2016. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A uniformly brown to dark brown surgeonfish with a white tail, and a small dark spot just below the rear of the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Acanthurus thompsoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Jul 2019,

Night Surgeonfish, Acanthurus thompsoni (Fowler 1923)

More Info


Widespread in the Indo-west-central Pacific from East Africa to the Hawaiian and Pitcairns islands, north to Japan, and south to Australia and New Caledonia. Inhabits clear steep drop-offs, feeding on zooplankton well above or away from the wall.


Dianne J. Bray

Night Surgeonfish, Acanthurus thompsoni (Fowler 1923)


Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Fishes of Rowley Shoals - Scott Reef. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement 25: 75-103.

Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus thompsoni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T178008A1519287. Downloaded on 07 June 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437018

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4-119 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:27 cm TL

Habitat:Reef associated

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