Acanthurus xanthopterus   Valenciennes,  1835 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall J.E.

Max. size: 70.0 cm TL.

Color: Purplish-brown overall, sometimes there may be irregular dark bluish lines on the body. A whitish band occurs across the base of the caudal fin.

The body is oval-shaped, compressed and relatively deep. Dorsal spines (total): 8 - 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 25 - 27; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 23 - 25. Body purplish gray when alive; grayish brown when preserved; a region of dull yellow in front of eye, a lesser extension posterior to lower part of eye; outer 1/3 of pectoral fin yellow, extreme distal part hyaline; dorsal and anal fins yellowish grey basally, dull yellow distally; caudal fin base whitish; caudal fin purplish. Anterior gill rakers 16-24, posterior 17-22. Caudal spine small.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders.

Max. age: 34 years.

Synonym (s)
Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835
Acanthurus matoides Day (nec Valenciennes, 1876)
Acanthurus blochii (non Valenciennes, 1835)
(Misapplied name)
Acanthurus crestonis (Jordan & Starks, 1895)
(Junior synonym)
Acanthurus fuliginosus (non Lesson, 1830)
(Misapplied name)
Acanthurus grammoptilus (non Richardson) 1843
(Misapplied name)
Acanthurus matoides (non Valenciennes) 1835
(Misapplied name)
Acanthurus rasi Valenciennes, 1835
(Junior synonym)
Acanthurus reticulatus Shen & Lim, 1973
(Junior synonym)
Acanthurus umbra (non Jenkins, 1903)
(Misapplied name)
Hepatus aquilinus Jordan & Seale, 1906
(Junior synonym)
Hepatus bariene (non Lesson, 1830)
(Misapplied name)
Hepatus crestonis (Jordan & Starks, 1895)
(Junior synonym)
Hepatus elongatus (non Lacepede) 1802
(Misapplied name)
Hepatus xanthopterus (Valenciennes, 1835)
(Senior synonym)
Rhombotides matoides (non Valenciennes, 1835)
(Misapplied name)
Teuthis crestonis Jordan & Starks, 1895
(Junior synonym)
Teuthis guentheri Jenkins, 1903
(Junior synonym)
Teuthis guentheri Bamber, 1915
(Ambiguous synonym)
Teuthis mata (non Cuvier, 1829)
(Misapplied name)
Teuthis nigrofuscus (non Forsskal, 1775)
(Misapplied name)
Teuthis xanthopterus (Valenciennes, 1835)
(Senior synonym)
Hepatus guntheri (Jenkins, 1903)
Teuthis guntheri Jenkins, 1903

Common Name (s)
• Cuvier's Surgeonfish (English)
• Yellowfin Surgeonfish (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, aquarium
Cultured:  Unknown

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic crustaceans, hard corals, polyps, debris, molluscs, planktonic invertebrates, benthic algae, diatoms, non-annelid worms


• Gulf of Oman
• South Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai Coast INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Tamil Nadu, Kudankulam INDIA
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Al-Abdessalaam, TZS (1995) Marine species of the Sultanate of Oman p 412 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Marine Biological Station, Chennai, Tamil Nadu (2003) Checklist of marine fauna of Tamil Nadu Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Available at -
  • Dr. Ramesh, R; Dr. Nammalwar, P and Dr. Gowri, VS (2008) Database on coastal information of Tamil Nadu Report Submitted to Environmental Information System (ENVIS) Centre, Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu Institute for Ocean Management, Anna University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Available at -
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajaram, R and Nedumaran, T (2009) Ichthyofaunal diversity in great Nicobar biosphere reserve, Bay of Bengal Journal of Threatened Taxa Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society 1(3) 166-169 Available at -
  • Raj, YL; Wesley, SG and Rajan, MP (2010) Status of Cu, Zn and Cr content in fin and shell fishes of Kudankulam coast, Gulf of Mannar, India South Indian Coastal and Marine Bulletin Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute, Tamil Nadu, India 2(1) 10-13 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Thomas, S; Sreeram, MP; Kakati, VS; Manisseri, MK and George, RM (2011) Coral fish diversity in Netrani waters off Murudeshwar Karnataka, south India Indian journal of fisheries CMFRI 58(1) 45-51 Available at -
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-12-07

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