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Orange Shoulder Tang : J - Melanesia


Orange Shoulder Tang : J - Melanesia
Acanthurus olivaceus
Place of origin: 

Widespread West to Central Pacific, ranging to sub-tropical zones as juveniles during summer. Coastal reef slopes and inner reefs, usually in small groups on sand and rubble zones. Juveniles in shallow coastal bays in rocky habitats. Adults grey-yellow to almost black, often posterior half abruptly darker, and featuring a bright orange blotch behind eye. Small juveniles bright yellow and blue anal fin margin. 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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