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Caribbean Reef Tang


Caribbean Reef Tang
Acanthurus chirurgus
Place of origin: 
Tropical western Atlantic with stragglers north to Massachusetts and south to Rio de Janeiro, and tropical West Africa, Senegal. It is mainly common on shallow rocky reefs of the West Indies. Identified by its grey to brown colour with about 10 narrow dusky bars on the sides above the anal fin, and the bright blue edge to the peduncular spin. Length to 35cm, but commonly 25cm.
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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