noun \-ˌfish\

Definition of SURGEONFISH

:  any of a family (Acanthuridae) of tropical bony fishes that have a laterally compressed body and typically a movable spine on each side of the body near the base of the tail capable of inflicting a painful wound

First Known Use of SURGEONFISH



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Surgeonfish (Acanthurus leucosternon)—Jane Burton/Bruce Coleman Ltd.

Any of about 75 species (family Acanthuridae) of thin, deep-bodied, tropical marine fishes that are small-scaled, with a single dorsal fin and one or more distinctive, sharp spines on either side of the tail base. The spines resemble a surgeon's scalpel and may be either fixed or hinged at the rear so that they can be opened outward and directed forward. Surgeonfishes are mostly algae eaters and usually do not exceed 20 in. (50 cm) long. The yellow surgeon, or yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens), is an Indo-Pacific species, and the blue tang (Acanthurus coeruleus) is found in the Atlantic and Caribbean.


surgeonfish or tang


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