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Acanthurus xanthopterus

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohors: Clupeocephala
Cohors: Euteleosteomorpha
Subcohors: Neoteleostei
Infracohors: Eurypterygia
Sectio: Ctenosquamata
Subsectio: Acanthomorphata
Divisio/Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Subdivisio: Percomorphaceae
Series: Eupercaria
Ordo: Acanthuriformes
Subordo: Acanthuroidei

Familia: Acanthuridae
Genus: Acanthurus
Species: Acanthurus xanthopterus

Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835
Vernacular names
English: Yellowfin surgeonfish
lietuvių: Geltonpelekis jūrų chirurgas

The yellowfin surgeonfish or Cuvier's surgeonfish (Acanthurus xanthopterus) is one of several marine fish that change color as they get older. This characteristic confused fish identification, and originally put the young and adults in different species. With the arrival of aquaria and later, coral reef aquaculture, specialists noticed the color transformation. Only recently have zoologists begun to understand their metamorphosis.


The yellowfin surgeonfish ranges in length to 70 cm (28 in). It has eight or 9 dorsal spines, 25-27 dorsal soft rays, three anal spines, 23-25 anal soft rays, and 16-24 anterior and 17-22 posterior gill rakers.[2]

Its body is purplish gray. It has a region of dull yellow in front of its eye. The outer third of its pectoral fin is yellow, the extreme distal part is hyaline. Its dorsal and anal fins are yellowish grey basally and dull yellow distally. Its caudal fin is purplish and the caudal spine is small.[2]
Range and habitat
A. xanthopterus from Maldives

It lives near coral reefs at depths ranging from 5–90 m (16–295 ft). Its preferred temperatures are 24–28 °C (75–82 °F) at latitudes of 30°N to 30°S. It ranges from East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and French Polynesia, north to southern Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef, and New Caledonia, and in the Eastern Pacific, from the lower Gulf of California and Clipperton Island to Panama and the Galapagos Islands.[2]

Juveniles inhabit shallow, protected, turbid inshore waters, while adults prefer deeper areas of protected bays and lagoons.

It feeds on diatoms, detritus film of sand, filamentous algae, hydroids, and pieces of fish. It is probably the only surgeonfish that readily takes bait.[2]

Abesamis, R.; Clements, K.D.; McIlwain, J.; Myers, R.; Nanola, C.; Rocha, L.A.; Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. (2012). "Acanthurus xanthopterus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012: e.T177989A1512937. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T177989A1512937.en.
Froese, Rainer; Pauly, Daniel (eds.) (2007). "Acanthurus xanthopterus" in FishBase. October 2007 version.

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