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Caribbean Blue/Yellow Tang


Caribbean Blue/Yellow Tang
Acanthurus coeruleus
Place of origin: 
Tropical western Atlantic and Ascension Islands. Stragglers north to New York and south to Rio de Janeiro. Occurs on shallow reefs, ranging to about 25m depth, and swims singly or in small aggregations. Often mixes with schooling Acanthurus chirurgus or A.bahianus. Adult A.coeruleus are bluer, and deeper bodied than the other two species. The peduncular spine is white or yellow. Small juveniles are mostly bright yellow. Length to 35cm.
The common name "surgeonfish" is derived from a characteristic that clearly distinguishes Acanthuridae from other fish families: the spines or "scalpels" on the caudal peduncle, one or more on each side. Based primarily on differences in this characteristic, the family can be divided into three subfamilies: The Acanthurinae, in which the peduncular spineĀ  rests in a groove and can be erected in defence during the fights, the Nasinae and Prionurinae in which the peduncular feature is arranged as one or more fixed blades on each side, that are sharp and elongate with age.

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