name = Acanthuridae

image_width = 200px
image_caption = Sohal surgeonfish, "Acanthurus sohal"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Actinopterygii
ordo = Perciformes
familia = Acanthuridae
subdivision_ranks = Genera
subdivision = "Acanthurus"
"Naso" (unicornfishes)

Acanthuridae ("thorn tail") is the family of surgeonfishes, tang, and unicornfishes. The family includes about 80 species in six genera, all of which are marine fish living in tropical seas, usually around coral reefs. Many of the species are brightly colored and popular for aquaria.

The distinctive characteristic of the family is the spines, one or more on either side of the tail, which are dangerously sharp. Both the dorsal and anal fins are large, extending for most of the length of the body. The small mouths have a single row of teeth used for grazing on algae.FishBase family|family=Acanthuridae|year=2007|month=February]

Most species are relatively small and have a maximum length of 15-40 cm (6-16 in), but some members of the genus "Acanthurus", some members of the genus "Prionurus", and most members of the genus "Naso" can grow larger, with the whitemargin unicornfish ("N. annulatus"), the largest species in the family, reaching a length of up to a meter (3,3 ft). These fishes can grow quickly in aquariums so it is advisable to check the average growth size and suitability before adding to a marine aquarium.


* Genus "Acanthurus"
** Achilles tang, "Acanthurus achilles" Shaw, 1803.
** Whitefin surgeonfish, "Acanthurus albipectoralis" Allen & Ayling, 1987.
** Orange-socket surgeonfish, "Acanthurus auranticavus" Randall, 1956.
** Ocean surgeon, "Acanthurus bahianus" Castelnau, 1855.
** Black-spot surgeonfish, "Acanthurus bariene" Lesson, 1831.
** Ringtail surgeonfish, "Acanthurus blochii" Valenciennes, 1835.
** Doctorfish tang, "Acanthurus chirurgus" (Bloch, 1787).
** Chronixis surgeonfish, "Acanthurus chronixis" Randall, 1960.
** Atlantic Blue tang surgeonfish, "Acanthurus coeruleus" Bloch & Schneider, 1801.
** Eyestripe surgeonfish, "Acanthurus dussumieri" Valenciennes, 1835.
** Fowler's surgeonfish, "Acanthurus fowleri" de Beaufort, 1951.
** Black surgeonfish, "Acanthurus gahhm" (Forsskål, 1775).
** Finelined surgeonfish, "Acanthurus grammoptilus" Richardson, 1843.
** Whitespotted surgeonfish, "Acanthurus guttatus" Forster, 1801.
** Japan surgeonfish, "Acanthurus japonicus" (Schmidt, 1931).
** Palelipped surgeonfish, "Acanthurus leucocheilus" Herre, 1927.
** Whitebar surgeonfish, "Acanthurus leucopareius" (Jenkins, 1903).
** Powderblue surgeonfish, "Acanthurus leucosternon" Bennett, 1833.
** Lined surgeonfish, "Acanthurus lineatus" (Linnaeus, 1758).
** White-freckled surgeonfish, "Acanthurus maculiceps" (Ahl, 1923).
** Elongate surgeonfish, "Acanthurus mata" (Cuvier, 1829).
** Monrovia doctorfish, "Acanthurus monroviae" Steindachner, 1876.
** Whitecheek surgeonfish, "Acanthurus nigricans" (Linnaeus, 1758).
** Epaulette surgeonfish, "Acanthurus nigricauda" Duncker & Mohr, 1929.
** Brown surgeonfish, "Acanthurus nigrofuscus" (Forsskål, 1775).
** Bluelined surgeonfish, "Acanthurus nigroris" Valenciennes, 1835.
** Bluelined surgeon, "Acanthurus nubilus" (Fowler & Bean, 1929).
** Orangespot surgeonfish, "Acanthurus olivaceus" Bloch & Schneider, 1801.
** Black-barred surgeonfish, "Acanthurus polyzona" (Bleeker, 1868).
** Chocolate surgeonfish, "Acanthurus pyroferus" Kittlitz, 1834.
** Gulf surgeonfish, "Acanthurus randalli" Briggs & Caldwell, 1957.
** "Acanthurus reversus" Randall & Earle, 1999.
** Sohal surgeonfish, "Acanthurus sohal" (Forsskål, 1775).
** Doubleband surgeonfish, "Acanthurus tennentii" Günther, 1861.
** Thompson's surgeonfish, "Acanthurus thompsoni" (Fowler, 1923).
** Convict surgeonfish, "Acanthurus triostegus" (Linnaeus, 1758).
** Indian Ocean mimic surgeonfish, "Acanthurus tristis" Randall, 1993.
** Yellowfin surgeonfish, "Acanthurus xanthopterus" Valenciennes, 1835.
* Genus "Ctenochaetus"
** Twospot surgeonfish, "Ctenochaetus binotatus" Randall, 1955.
** "Ctenochaetus cyanocheilus" Randall & Clements, 2001.
** "Ctenochaetus flavicauda" Fowler, 1938.
** Striped-fin surgeonfish, "Ctenochaetus marginatus" (Valenciennes, 1835).
** Striated surgeonfish, "Ctenochaetus striatus" (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825).
** Spotted surgeonfish, "Ctenochaetus strigosus" (Bennett, 1828).
** Tomini surgeonfish, "Ctenochaetus tominiensis" Randall, 1955.
** "Ctenochaetus truncatus" Randall & Clements, 2001.
* Genus "Naso"
** Whitemargin unicornfish, "Naso annulatus" (Quoy & Gaimard, 1825).
** Humpback unicornfish, "Naso brachycentron" (Valenciennes, 1835).
** Spotted unicornfish, "Naso brevirostris" (Cuvier, 1829).
** "Naso caeruleacauda" Randall, 1994.
** Gray unicornfish, "Naso caesius" Randall & Bell, 1992.
** Elegant unicornfish, "Naso elegans" (Rüppell, 1829).
** Horseface unicornfish, "Naso fageni" Morrow, 1954.
** Sleek unicornfish, "Naso hexacanthus" (Bleeker, 1855).
** Orangespine unicornfish, "Naso lituratus" (Forster, 1801).
** Elongate unicornfish, "Naso lopezi" Herre, 1927.
** "Naso maculatus" Randall & Struhsaker, 1981.
** Squarenose unicornfish, "Naso mcdadei" Johnson, 2002.
** Slender unicorn, "Naso minor" (Smith, 1966).
** "Naso reticulatus" Randall, 2001.
** Oneknife unicornfish, "Naso thynnoides" (Cuvier, 1829).
** Bulbnose unicornfish, "Naso tonganus" (Valenciennes, 1835).
** Humpnose unicornfish, "Naso tuberosus" Lacépède, 1801.
** Bluespine unicornfish, "Naso unicornis" (Forsskål, 1775).
** Bignose unicornfish, "Naso vlamingii" (Valenciennes, 1835).
* Genus "Paracanthurus"
** Palette surgeonfish, "Paracanthurus hepatus" (Linnaeus, 1766).
* Genus "Prionurus"
** Biafra doctorfish, "Prionurus biafraensis" (Blache & Rossignol, 1961).
** "Prionurus chrysurus" Randall, 2001.
** Razor surgeonfish, "Prionurus laticlavius" (Valenciennes, 1846).
** Yellowspotted sawtail, "Prionurus maculatus" (Randall & Struhsaker, 1981).
** Sixplate sawtail, "Prionurus microlepidotus" Lacépède, 1804.
** Yellowtail surgeonfish, "Prionurus punctatus" Gill, 1862.
** Scalpel sawtail, "Prionurus scalprum" Valenciennes, 1835.
* Genus "Zebrasoma"
** Red Sea sailfin tang, "Zebrasoma desjardinii" (Bennett, 1836).
** Yellow tang, "Zebrasoma flavescens" (Bennett, 1828).
** Spotted tang, "Zebrasoma gemmatum" (Valenciennes, 1835).
** Longnose surgeonfish, "Zebrasoma rostratum" (Günther, 1875).
** Twotone tang, "Zebrasoma scopas" (Cuvier, 1829).
** Sailfin tang, "Zebrasoma veliferum" (Bloch, 1795).
** Yellowtail tang, "Zebrasoma xanthurum" (Blyth, 1852).

Etymology and taxonomic history

The name of the family is derived from the Greek words "akantha" and "oura", which loosely translate to "thorn" and "tail", respectively. This refers to the distinguishing characteristic of the family, the "scalpel" found each member's caudal peduncle.

In the early 1900's, the family was called Hepatidae.cite journal| last =Seale| first =Alvin| authorlink =Alvin Seale| coauthors =| title =New Species of Philippine Fishes| journal =Philippine Journal of Science| volume =4| issue =6| pages =| publisher =Bureau of Science in Manila| date =1909| url =| doi =| id =| accessdate = ]

In the aquarium

Tangs are very sensitive to disease in the home aquarium. However if the tang is fed enough algae and the aquarium is properly maintained disease should not be a problem. It is usually necessary to quarantine the animals using copper sulfate or formalin for a period of around 2 weeks.

Adults range from 15-40cm (6-15 in.) in length and most grow quickly even in aquariums. When considering a tang for an aquarium it is important to consider the size to which these fish can grow. Larger species such as the popular regal tang (of "Finding Nemo" fame), Naso or lipstick tang, clown and sohal tangs can grow to 40cm (15 in.) and require swimming room and hiding places.

Many also suggest adding aggressive tangs to the aquarium last as they are territorial and may fight and possibly kill other fish.

Tangs primarily graze on macroalgae, such as caulerpa and gracilias, although they have been observed in an aquarium setting to eat meat-based fish foods. A popular technique for aquarists, is to grow macroalgae in a sump or refugium. This technique not only is economically beneficial, but serves to promote enhanced water quality through nitrate absorption. The growth of the algae can then be controlled by feeding it to the tang.


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • acanthuridae — ac·an·thu·ri·dae …   English syllables

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  • family Acanthuridae — noun surgeonfishes • Syn: ↑Acanthuridae • Hypernyms: ↑fish family • Member Holonyms: ↑Perciformes, ↑order Perciformes, ↑Percomorphi, ↑order Percomorphi …   Useful english dictionary

  • Acanthuridé — Acanthuridae Demande de traduction Acanthuridae → …   Wikipédia en Français