About Yellowfin surgeonfish

The yellowfin surgeonfish (Acanthurus xanthopterus) is a grey-blue fish with yellow spots around the eyes, yellow-grey dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins, and light base of the tail fin. It changes colour as it ages. Its body is compressed and rounded. There are sharp knife-like spines on the sides of the caudal peduncle. The ends of the tail fin are crescent-shaped.
The species is benthopelagic. It inhabits coral and rocky reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, bays and lagoons at depths of 5 to 90 meters. Juveniles prefer turbid shallow water in protected coastal areas. They feed on detritus, feces of pelagic species, and seaweed.

Additional info

Salinity Marine
Depth From 1 to 100 meters
Length 70 cm
Red List Least concern
Threat to Human Venomous

Known names


Hepatus aquilinus, Hepatus crestonis, Hepatus guntheri, Hepatus xanthopterus, Teuthis crestonis, Teuthis guentheri, Teuthis xanthopterus, Teuthis güntheri, Acanthurus crestonis, Acanthurus rasi, Acanthurus reticulatus

Local names
Australia Yellowfin surgeonfish
Red List Status

Acanthurus xanthopterus is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and is common in parts of its range. It is a targeted food fish in parts of its distribution. There are no signs of global population declines through harvesting. Its distribution overlaps with a number of marine protected areas. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

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