Elongate Surgeonfish, Acanthurus mata

The Elongate Surgeonfish, (Acanthurus mata), is a species of tropical fish found in the Indo-Pacific, and can be found as far north as Southern Japan and south to the Great Barrier Reef. Some also live as far west as South Africa and as far east as the Tuamotu Islands. Its main habitat is steep slopes around coral reefs.

This is a light blue fish with numerous brown stripes running down the length of the body, although over time it is able to change color to become blue overall. It has a band of yellowish green across its face and also on its upper lip. Males of this species grow up to 20 inches long.

The Elongate Surgeonfish can be eaten fresh, and although it is venomous the flesh is seldom dangerous for consumption. It is also a popular aquarium fish species, although its size makes it more difficult to manage than most other tangs and surgeonfish.

Image Credit: Matthieu Sontag/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)