Eyeline Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricauda Duncker & Mohr 1929

Other Names: Black-barred Surgeonfish, Blackstreak Surgeonfish, Epaulette Surgeonfish, Epaulette Surgeonfish, Eye-line Surgeon, Eye-line Surgeonfish, Shoulderbar Surgeonfish, White-tail Surgeonfish

An Eyeline Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricauda, at Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia. Source: Graham Edgar / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

A brown surgeonfish with a black bar or streak running above the pectoral fin from behind the eye, a second black streak before the spine on the caudal peduncle, often a white bar on the caudal-fin base, and a pale outer half on the pectoral fin. Small juveniles lack the bar behind the eye.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Acanthurus nigricauda in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/1027

Eyeline Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricauda Duncker & Mohr 1929

More Info


Western Australian offshore reefs (Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef), Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to the Capricorn Group, Queensland; also reefs in the Coral Sea, and Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical Indo-west-central Pacific. 
Inhabits sandy areas around corals or rocks reefs in clear lagoons and on seaward reefs.


Dorsal fin IX, 25-28; Anal fin III, 23-26. 


Grazes on algal biofilm in sandy areas near coral or rocky reefs.bottom.


Comemrcially fished in parts of its range, and collected for the aquarium industry.


Dianne J. Bray

Eyeline Surgeonfish, Acanthurus nigricauda Duncker & Mohr 1929


Choat, J.H. & L.M. Axe. 1996. Growth and longevity in acanthurid fishes; an analysis of otolith increments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 134: 15-26. 

Choat, J.H., K.D. Clements & W.D. Robbins. 2002. The tropic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs. 1. Dietary analyses. Marine Biology 140: 613-623.

Choat, J.H., K.D. Clements & W.D. Robbins. 2004. The trophic status of herbivorous fishes on coral reefs 2: Food processing modes and trophodynamics, Marine Biology 145: 445-454.

Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus nigricauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T178017A1522347. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T178017A1522347.en . Downloaded on 18 October 2015.

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., et al. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437013

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:40 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map