Whitespotted Surgeonfish, Acanthurus guttatus

Image Credit: National Park Service/Wikipedia

The whitespotted surgeonfish is found in shallow water around rocky shore lines and exposed reefs in the Indo-Pacific. It is native to Mauritius, southern Japan, Indonesia, and northern Australia, but in 2003 it was discovered off the coast of Palm Beach, Florida.

The spots of the whitespotted surgeonfish could act as a camouflage while it swims in bubble filled water. It has a deep body that is laterally compressed, with a base color of grey that turns darker toward the tail, and covered with white spots. There are two white vertical bands with one that sets just behind the eye and the other just behind the yellow pelvic fin. The small tail is vertically split between yellow and black, with black being on the second half. The dorsal fin has 9 spines with 27 – 30 soft rays, and the anal fin has 3 spines with 23 – 26 soft rays. The whitespotted surgeonfish can reach a maximum length of 10 inches.

The whitespotted surgeonfish feeds on algae, phytoplankton, weeds, and other debris created from decomposition.

Breeding will take place in the open water where the eggs are scattered and left unguarded. Fertilization is done externally. In Samoa, breeding is done year-round where the eggs are placed at dusk on reefs within drainage channels.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Suborder: Acanthuroidei

Family: Acanthuridae