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

Image copyrights: The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service

Size: 61 cm.

Color: In preserved specimens brown or dark brown, sometimes with a dark violet tinge. Rarely indications of light wavy lines on sides and belly. Eyes and nostrils sometimes in a pale area. In young and semi adults the basal part of the caudal and the posterior part of the caudal peduncle are abruptly, this color spreading more or less on the caudal lobes. Traces of this light band may be present in adults, but generally the caudal is dark brown all over. Dorsal and anal dark brown or more or less violet, the soft portion of the fins with longitudinal light bands, as broad as the inter spaces. Pectorals dark brown in their basal half, hyaline or white in their distal half. Ventrals dark brown.

Height 1.7-2, 2.3-2.7 in length with caudal. Head 3-3.8, 4-4.5 in length with caudal. Eye 3.2-4.7, 1.9-3.6 in snout, and 1-1.8 in convex inter orbital space. Profile of head convex before eye, straight or slightly convex from eye to tip of snout. Corner of mouth nearer to hind border of preopercle than to eye. Teeth slender, strongly lobate along their sides and on tip, which is scarcely truncated, each tooth slightly tapering towards its end. 8-9 teeth in each ramus of both jaws. Nostrils close together before eye, both eye, both with a rim which is produced posteriorly into a triangular flap. Origin of dorsal above upper extremity of gill opening. a rather thick sheath, covered with small elongate scales, along the whole base of the fin. First dorsal spine small, following increasing in length posteriorly to the fifth, the sixth to ninth sub equal. The anterior spine rather strong and thick, the posterior ones slender, the last one equal to distance between eye and corner of somewhat longer or shorter. Soft dorsal slightly higher than spinous part, rounded behind, the last 8 rays rapidly decreasing in length. First anal spine very small, third longest about as long as sixth dorsal spine. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal. Pectorals as long as head. Ventrals pointed, shorter than pectorals, about as long as snout and half diameter of eye. Caudal truncate in young, with the lobes slightly produced, in adults the lobes are pointed, falcate, and the hind border of the fin is lunate.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Acanthurus gahhm Ruppell, 1828
Acanthurus matoides Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1835
Acanthurus matoides Bleeker, 1850
Acanthurus xanthopterus Cantor, 1850
Acanthurus nigricans Bleeker, 1862
Rhombotides matoides Bleeker, 1863
Acanthurus matoides Kner, 1867
Acanthurus matoides Playfair, 1867
Acanthurus matoides Klunzinger, 1871
Acanthurus blochii Gunther, 1875
Acanthurus matoides Day, 1876
Acanthurus matoides MacLeay, 1881
Acanthurus matoides Steindachner and Doderlein, 1884
Acanthurus matoides Sauvage, 1891
Acanthurus blochii Waite, 1899
Teuthis guntheri Jenkins, 1904
Hepatus matoides Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Hepatus matoides Jordan and Seale, 1906
Hepatus matoides Evermann and Seale, 1906
Hepatus matoides Jordan and Seale, 1907
Hepatus matoides Jordan and Starks, 1907
Hepatus matoides Seale, 1910
Teuthis guentheri Bamber, 1915
Hepatus matoides Fowler and Bean, 1922
Acanthurus matoides Jordan and Jordan, 1925
Acanthurus matoides Vinciguerra, 1926
Acanthurus matoides Herre, 1927
Hepatus fuliginosus Fowler, 1928
Hepatus fuliginosus Fowler and Bean, 1929
Hepatus fuliginosus P. Schmidt, 1930
Acanthurus fuliginosus Giltay, 1933
Hepatus fuliginosus Fowler, 1938
Acanthurus xanthopterus Smith and Smith, 1963

Common Name (s)
• Kalahandi
• Rykathi
• Pala
• Neythala
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated


• Tamil Nadu, Chennai INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Day, F (1981) The fishes of Malabar 1-281 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • 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 -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at -
  • Kumaran, M; Murty, VS and Lalmohan, RS (1989) Resources of ornamental fishes Marine living resources of the union territory of Lakshadweep: An indicative survey with suggestions for development Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI 43 46-64 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 Available at -
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1959) The fishing industry of Minicoy Island with special reference to the tuna fishery Indian Journal of Fisheries Indian Council of Agricultural Research 6 (1) 30-57 Available at -
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-06-28

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