Doubleband Surgeonfish, Acanthurus tennentii Günther 1861

Other Names: Lieutenant Surgeonfish

A Doubleband Surgeonfish, Acanthurus tennentii, at Reunion Island, February 2013. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pale brown surgeonfish with two black bands (horseshoe-shaped in juveniles and subadults to ~13 cm) on the shoulder region, a black caudal spine within a black area surrounded by a blue to bluish-white border, a broad bluish-white margin on the caudal fin and narrow blue margins on the dorsal and anal fins.
The Doubleband Surgeonfish occurs at the Australian Territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean.

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Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Acanthurus tennentii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jul 2024,

Doubleband Surgeonfish, Acanthurus tennentii Günther 1861

More Info


Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean (AUS EEZ). Elsewhere the species occurs from East Africa to southern Indonesia. Inhabits shallow silty inshore to clear outer lagoon and seaward coral reefs in depths to 35 m.




A food fish in parts of its range.


Acanthurus tennentii hybridizes with A. olivaceus in Bali, Indonesia.

Species Citation

Acanthurus tennentii Günther 1861, Cat. fishes Brit. Mus. 3: 337. Type locality: Sri Lanka (as Sea of Ceylon).


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Doubleband Surgeonfish, Acanthurus tennentii Günther 1861


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

Allen, G.R., Steene, R., Human, P. & Deloach, N. 2003. Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific. Jacksonville, Florida : New World Publications, Inc. 457 pp. 

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. PDF available Open access

Comeros-Raynal, M.T., Choat, J.H., Polidoro, B.A., Clements, K.D., Abesamis, R., Craig, M.T., Lazuardi, M.E., McIlwain, J., Muljadi, A., Myers, R.F., Nañola Jr., C.L., Pardede, S., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B., Sanciangco, J.C., Stockwell, B., Harwell, H. and Carpenter, K.E. 2012. The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant components of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLoS ONE

Günther, A. 1861. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. London : British Museum Vol. 3 586 pp. 

Hobbs, J.-P.A., Ayling, A.M., Choat, J.H., Gilligan, J.J., McDonald, C.A., Neilson, J. & Newman, S.J. 2010. New records of marine fishes illustrate the biogeographic importance of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Zootaxa 2422: 63–68 

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp. 

Kuiter R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893. 

Randall, J.E. 1956. A revision of the surgeon fish genus Acanthurus. Pacific Science 10(2): 159-235 figs 1-23 pls 1-3 

Randall, J.E. 1995. Coastal Fishes of Oman. Bathurst : Crawford House Publishing 439 pp. 

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

Randall, J.E., Pyle, R.L. & Myers, R.F. 2001. Three examples of hybrid surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae). aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 4(3): 115-120.

Russell, B., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Myers, R., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Acanthurus tennentii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T177997A1516035. Downloaded on 17 February 2017.

Sommer, C., Schneider, W. & Poutiers, J.-M. 1996. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of Somalia. Rome : FAO 376 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437050

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (minor)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:31 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map