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White Tail Tang


White Tail Tang
Acanthurus thompsoni
Place of origin: 
Western Indian Ocean
Widespread Indo-West Pacific. Coastal slopes to outer reef walls, usually at a depth of 20 m or more. Occurs alone or in small groups. Easily identified by the dark body and white tail Has a black spot at the end of the base of the dorsal fin that is only obvious when the body pales, such as when visiting a cleaning station. Length to 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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