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Acanthurus mata  (Cuvier, 1829)

Elongate surgeonfish
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Acanthurus mata
Picture by Honeycutt, K.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes) > Acanthurinae
Etymology: Acanthurus: Greek, akantha = thorn + Greek, oura = tail (Ref. 45335).

Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 5 - 100 m (Ref. 28016), usually 5 - 45 m (Ref. 27115).   Tropical; 23°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 35°N - 35°S, 30°E - 137°W

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Natal, South Africa and east to the Marquesas and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145); max. reported age: 23 years (Ref. 52229)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 24-26; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 23 - 24. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body moderately deep and compressed, its depth 2.1-2.5 times in standard length or SL (smaller individuals are deeper-bodied); snout relatively short, 6-6.9 times in SL; eye 3.2-4.5 times in head length (at 12-28 cm SL); mouth small; teeth spatulate, close-set, with denticulate edges, and small for the genus; total gill rakers on first gill arch 13-15; continuous, unnotched dorsal fin IX,24-26; A III,23-24; caudal fin emarginate to lunate, concavity 6.5-9 times in SL (concavity is greater in larger individuals); caudal peduncle narrow, the least depth 10-12 times in SL with a lancet-like spine on each side which folds into a deep horizontal groove; stomach large, U-shaped, thin-walled with large, thorn-like papillae on inner surface; colour brown with longitudinal blue lines on head and body; a yellow area behind eye and 2 yellow bands extending anteriorly from eye; when alive, this fish is capable of changing its ground colour from dark brown to pale blue (Ref. 9808).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Adults inhabit steep slopes, often in turbid waters, generally in the vicinity of coral reefs (Ref. 58652) or rocky bottoms. They form resident spawning aggregations (Ref. 27825, 48637). Adults often seen in schools, feeding mid-water on plankton (Ref. 48637). Feed on zooplankton. Marketed fresh. Flesh is almost never poisonous (Ref. 4795).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Form resident spawning aggregations (Ref. 27825).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Randall, John E. | Collaborators

Randall, J.E., 1987. Three nomenclatorial changes in Indo-Pacific surgeonfishes (Acanthurinae). Pac. Sci. 41(1-4):54-61. (Ref. 1921)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)

  Least Concern (LC) ; Date assessed: 04 May 2010

CITES (Ref. 115941)

Not Evaluated

CMS (Ref. 116361)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Venomous (Ref. 4716)





Human uses

Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FishSource | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969): 24.7 - 29, mean 27.9 (based on 1918 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02512 (0.01608 - 0.03923), b=2.94 (2.81 - 3.07), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & Genus-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.5   ±0.25 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.219; tmax=23).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate vulnerability (39 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.