Surgeonfish, or tangs, are among the most common fish on Kwajalein reefs. Most graze algae from the reef or sand, but some are primarily plankton eaters. All are characterized by a spine or sharp blade (hence the common name surgeonfish) near the caudal peduncle, the narrow part of the body just in front of the tail. This can be used to spine or slice anyone who handles them carelessly, and in some cases the spine is apparently venomous. A number of species are similar in size (commonly to around 10cm or so) and mostly black in color, and it seems we did not get photos of several of them. Species we have not photographed but which have been reported from the Marshall Islands are listed below the thumbnails with links to Fishbase.
Other surgeonfish species that have been reported from the Marshall Islands and listed in the checklist in Myers (1999) include (links are to Fishbase):
Acanthurus maculiceps (Ahl, 1923)
Acanthurus nigrofuscus (Forsskål, 1775)
Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes, 1835
Ctenochaetus marginatus (Valenciennes, 1835)
Ctenochaetus tominiensis Randall, 1955
Naso caesius Randall & Bell, 1992
Naso brachycentron (Valenciennes, 1835)
Naso lopezi Herre, 1927
Naso tuberosus Lacepède, 1801
Myers, R. F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics, Guam. 330pp.
Randall, J.E., R.F. Myers, M.N. Trevor, S.R. Johnson, J.L. Johnson, S. Yoshii & B.D. Greene. 2005. Ninety-one new records of fishes from the Marshall Islands. Aqua9(3):115-132.
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