Acanthurus lineatus   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Teresa Zubi

Size: 30-38 cm.

Color: Upper 3/4 of body with alternating black-edged blue and yellow bands; lower 1/4 of body gray. Upper part of head with yellow, oblique stripes. Pectoral fins pale with dusky rays; pelvic fins light yellowish brown with black outer margin; vertical markings in caudal fin.

Height 2-2.2, 2.6-2.9 in length with caudal. Head 3.6-3.7, 4.8-4.9 in length with caudal. Eye 3.9-4.2, 2.8-2.9 in snout and 1.3-1.4 in very convex inter orbital space. Teeth large, truncate and lobate, 6 to 7 in each branch of both upper and lower jaw. Nostrils close together, both with a rim, which is produced posteriorly in a flap at the anterior nostril. Profile of head descending in a steep curve from between eye to mouth. Origin of dorsal above gill opening, the membrane of the fin very thick. First spine small, more or less hidden in the skin, second spine about two thirds of third, following spine sub equal, the last half snout, and as long as first ray. Dorsal rays increasing in length to about the 20th, which is as long as snout, the posterior rays rapidly decreasing in length, the fin hence pointed behind. Origin of anal below last dorsal spine. the first spine hidden in the skin, the second about three fourths of the third, which is longest, and as long as longest dorsal spines. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal. Pectorals equal to head, ventrals much pointed, longer than pectorals. Caudal lunate, the lobes much pointed and produced. Gill rakers 14-16 anterior row, 13-15 posterior row. Minute scales. Philippine specimens demonstrate different color patterns. Dorsal spines (total): 9 - 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27 - 30; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 25 - 28. The venomous caudal spine can cause painful wounds. The species is almost continually in motion. The large male controls well-defined feeding territories and harems of females. Erectile spine on each side of caudal peduncle is sharp, strong, forward-pointing, and venomous.
The large males control well-defined feeding territories and harems of females. The species is almost continually in motion.

Dioecious, external fertilization, non-guarders, open water or substratum egg scatterers. Form spawning aggregations, but spawn in pairs.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Acanthurus vittatus Bennett, 1728
Chaetodon lineatus Linnaeus, 1758
Ctenodon lineatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Harpurus lineatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Hepatus lineatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rhombotides lineatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Teuthis lineatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Acanthurus lineatus Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Acanthurus lineatus Lacepede, 1802
Acanthurus vittatus Bennett, 1827
Harpurus lineatus Lichtenstein, 1844
Acanthurus lineatus Bleeker, 1853
Acanthurus lineatus Gunther, 1861
Rhombotides lineatus Bleeker, 1863
Acanthurus lineatus Kner, 1867
Acanthurus lineatus Kner, 1867
Acanthurus lineatus Gunther, 1875
Acanthurus lineatus Day, 1876
Teuthis lineatus Seale, 1901
Hepatus lineatus Jordan and Seale, 1906
Hepatus lineatus Jordan and Richardson, 1908
Acanthurus lineatus M. Weber, 1913
Hepatus lineatus Fowler, 1934
Hepatus lineatus Fowler and Bean, 1929
Hepatus lineatus P. Schmidt, 1930
Acanthurus lineatus Herre, 1936
Hepatus lineatus Fowler, 1938
Acanthurus lineatus Day, 1878
Acanthurus vittatus Bennett, 1828

Common Name (s)
• Striped Surgeonfish (English)
• Striped Surgeon (English)
• Lined surgeonfish (English)
• Clown Surgeonfish (English)
• Clown Surgeon (English)
• Bluebanded Surgeon (English)
• Bluebanded (English)
• Blue Linned Surgeonfish (English)
• Blue Banded Surgeonfish (English)
• Blue Lined Surgeon Fish (English)
• Combo (Konkani)
• Haravalu Rykathi
• Varipad
• Blue-line Surgeon-fish (English)
• Orandai
• Pala
• Convict Surgeon Fish
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium; Ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Primary Consumer
Prey:  Benthic algae/weeds, plants, crustaceans
Predator:  Epinephelus merra


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andaman Islands (Lat: 10) (Long: 93) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Atoll (Lat: 8) (Long: 71) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andamans INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Suheli INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Tuticorin Coast INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Tinnakara INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti Island (Lat: 10.85) (Long: 78.46) INDIA (Record: 03/1954)
• Lakshadweep, Amini Island (Lat: 11.08) (Long: 72.75) INDIA (Record: 03/1954)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA (Record: 05/01/1987-06/02/1987)
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Island (Lat: 8.11) (Long: 73.3) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) A field guide to the fishes of Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes) and Siganidae (rabbitfishes) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands 42 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Ocean Biogeographic Information System Available at -
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • Hussain, SM Brief report on biodiversity in the coastal areas of Pakistan p 113
  • 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
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • (1998) Marine crabs of India National Institute of Oceanography Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2005) Community organization of coral reef fishes in the rubble sub-habitat of Kavaratti Atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 47(1) 77-82 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Starfish Available at -
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • 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
  • 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 -
  • Dr. Kumaraguru, AK (2000) Studies on socioeconomics of Coral Reef resource users in the Gulf of Mannar coast, South India Centre for Marine and Coastal studies School of Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India Available at -
  • Kumar, RR and Edward, JKP (2005) Comparative study on the fish assemblages in natural and artificial reefs in Tuticorin, Gulf of Mannar, Southeast coast of India Proceedings of the National Seminar on Reef Ecosystem Remediation SDMRI Special Research Publication No.9 99-104 Available at -
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -
  • Balan, V (1958) Notes on a visit to certain islands of the Laccadive Archipelago, with special reference to fisheries Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society Bombay Natural History Society 55 (2) 297-306 Available at -
  • 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 -
  • 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
  • Ghosh, S; Ganeshamurthy, R; Balamurugan, J and Kumar, TTA (2011) Reef fishing- An off season amusement at Lakshadweep Fishing chimes 31(1) 128-130 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at -
  • 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 -
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Reef Fishes Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-13

Back to Search