Shorefishes of the Tropical Eastern Pacific Online Information System
Updated: 06/12/2008  

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Perciformes  -  Acanthuridae  -  Acanthurus  -  Acanthurus xanthopterus

Acanthurus xanthopterus

All Families(148) All Genera(504) All Species(1287)
yellow stripe: snout through eye
body & fins brown
C base: white band


  pectoral: 1/3 yellow


Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1835

Yellowfin surgeonfish,     Purple surgeonfish

Body an elongate oval; head profile steep; eye high on the head; mouth small, protrusible, low on head;
 teeth on jaws fixed, with flattened, notched tips, 8-28 on each jaw; gill rakers 16-24; dorsal rays IX, 25-27; anal rays III, 23-25; pectoral rays 16-17; pelvic fin I, 5; a large depressible spine fits into a groove on the side of the base of the tail; tail fin strongly concave;  scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.

Purplish grey to brown, outer third of pectoral fin yellowish; yellow area around and in front of eye; base of tail fin often with white bar; can quickly assume a very pale grey coloration with numerous dark wavy lines on the side.

Size: 70 cm.

Habitat: generally seen in sandy areas.

Depth: 1-100 m.

Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Americas; in the eastern Pacific it ranges from the mouth of the Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the oceanic islands.

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