Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Acanthurus pyroferus, Chocolate Surgeonfish, Mimic Surgeonfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body yellow-brown
behind pectoral: orange bar
dark face mask
fins dark, C edge yellow
Juv yellow

Acanthurus pyroferus Kittliz, 1834

Chocolate Surgeonfish, Mimic Surgeonfish

Body strongly compressed, an elongate oval; head profile steep, concave on snout; eye high on side of head; mouth small, protruding, low on head; teeth on jaws fixed, with flattened, notched tips, 16 on top jaw, 18 on lower; gill rakers 23-26; dorsal fin VIII, 27-31 no notch after spines; anal fin III, 24-28; dorsal and anal fins relatively high; pectoral rays 15-16; pelvic fin I, 5; a single depressible spine fits into a groove on the side of the base of the tail; tail fin edge lunate in adults, round in juveniles.

Adult dark brown to purplish black body and fins, sometimes yellow-brown anteriorly; entire edge of operculum broadly black; lips black, with a thin white bar circling them below; an orange bar on body behind operculum, extending down to belly; pectoral fin with black base, yellow rays; tail spine socket with narrow black edge; tail fin black with a thin yellow edge. Juveniles variable: (i) bright yellow, sometimes with blue ring around eye, blue edges to median fins; or (ii) pale brown, with indistinct darker vertical lines, dark eye, short orange bar behind operculum, tail fin and rear of dorsal and anal fins blackish.

Reaches 29 cm.

Rubble and sand areas around bases of reefs.

Depth range: 2-60 m.

Indo-Pacific: exotic introduced to Florida.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Detritus
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
Regional Endemism
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 29
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 60