Convict Surgeonfish, Acanthurus triostegus (Linnaeus 1758)


Other Names: Convict Surgeon, Convict Surgeon-fish, Convict Tang, Fiveband Surgeonfish, Five-banded Surgeon-fish

A Convict Surgeonfish, Acanthurus triostegus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Mark Shepherd / Lizard Island Field Guide, http://lifg.australianmuseum.net.au/. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:
An easily recognised pale greyish to greenish-grey surgeonfish with a black band through the eye and 4 narrow bands on the body.
Video of a school of Convict Surgeonfish at Royal Island, Maldives, 2015.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Acanthurus triostegus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jul 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2191

Convict Surgeonfish, Acanthurus triostegus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Distribution

Rottnest Island to Monte Bello Islands and offshore reefs of Western Australia,m Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Sydney, with juveniles as far south as Shellharbour, New South Wales; also reefs in the Coral Sea, Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Eslewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to the Americas in the Eastern Pacific. 

Convict surgeonfish inhabit in lagoon and seaward reefs, often on reef crests on shallow exposed reef fronts. Juveniles often occur in tidepools. 

The species is locally abundant in parts of its range and adults often graze on algae in large schools.

Features

Dorsal fin IX, 22-26; Anal fin III, 19-22; Pectoral fin 15-16; Pelvic fin I, 5; Gill rakers 18-22.
Body elongate oval in shape, head profile steep, eye near top of head; mouth small, somewhat protrusible; small teeth in jaws with flattened, notched tips, 8-28 on each jaw; side of caudal peduncle with a small depressible spine that fits into a groove; caudal fin concave; scales small, ctenoid; lateral line complete.

Colour

Background colour whitish to light greenish-grey, with six narrow black bars on head and body.

Feeding

Herbivore - grazes on algal turfs.

Biology

The sexes are separate and the species forms spawning aggregations. 

Fisheries

Targeted for food and by recreational fishers in parts of its range.

Remarks

Acanthurus triostegus is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Although there is a strong geographical pattern in genetic structure of Acanthurus triostegus throughout the Pacific, this does not warrant species recognition (McIlwain 2012). 

Species Citation

Chaetodon triostegus Linnaeus 1758, Systema Naturae 1: 274. Type locality: Indies.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Convict Surgeonfish, Acanthurus triostegus (Linnaeus 1758)

References


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Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Choat, J.H., Robbins, W.D. & Clements, K.D. 2004. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. Marine Biology 145: 445-454.

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Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Gray, J.E. 1827. Pisces. pp. 435-437 in King, P.P. (ed.) Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia Performed Between the Years 1818 and 1822 with an appendix containing various subjects relating to hydrography and natural history. London : John Murray Vol. 2 Appendix B 637 pp. (p. 435, as Teuthis australis)

Green, A.L. & Bellwood, D.R. 2009.Monitoring functional groups of herbivorous reef fishes as indicators of coral reef resilience ? A practical guide for coral reef managers in the Asia Pacific region. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Hutchins, J.B. 1990. Fish survey of South Passage, Shark Bay, Western Australia. pp. 263-278 in Berry, P.F., Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds) Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds) Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

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Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

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Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus triostegus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 17 September 2014.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

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Randall, J.E. 2001. Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i and the World. Honolulu : Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press 125 pp. 

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Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37437019

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-90 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:27 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map