... when threatened, surgeonfish escape to the corals where they stick close to the branches and bravely defend their territory?
Distribution: Indian and Pacific ocean.
Measurements: they can grow up to 31cm long.
Food: when they are young, their diet is based mainly on plankton; as adults they are omnivores and feed on plankton, algae and small crustaceans.
Special characteristics: the intensity of colour varies with the age of the individual.
The surgeonfish (Paracanthurus hepatus) is distributed in the Indian and Pacific ocean, with a water temperature between 24 °C and 26 °C, in coral reef areas and at depths ranging between 2 and 40 meters.
They get its name from the spine on either side of the start of its tail fin. They use them to defend themselves from other fish, or to defend their territory, by moving their tail from side to side.
It is a laterally compressed fish with a deep blue colour and a yellow caudal fin. It also has two black stripes along its back. The intensity of colour varies with the age of the individual. They can grow up to 31cm long.
Surgeonfish reach sexual maturity at about two years old. They spawn in groups and usually do so in the afternoon and evening. In doing so their colour changes to a more of sky-blue tone. When they are young, their diet is based mainly on plankton. As adults they are omnivores and feed on plankton, algae and small crustaceans.
Discover the blue surgeonfish in the Temperate and Tropical facility of the OCeanogràfic.