Acanthurus albipectoralis

Whitefin Surgeonfish
Acanthurus albipectoralis
Acanthurus albipectoralis, Lihou Reef, Coral Sea, Photo: Ben Jones
Acanthurus albipectoralis
Acanthurus albipectoralis, Saumarez Reef, Coral Sea, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Acanthurus albipectoralis
Acanthurus albipectoralis


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Dark body, light outer half of pectoral fin, crescent-shaped tail, dark spine on tail base, dark eye, and occasionally with white bar across inner tail. Distinguished from similar A. mata (Pale Surgeonfish), A. thompsoni (Night Surgeonfish) and some Naso species (Unicornfishes) by white outer edge of the pectoral fin and lacking white tail and yellow around eye.


Max Size: 33 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.2-29.4°C

Depth: 5-20m

Habitat Generalization Index: 6.97

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Frequent (11.1% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Several (9 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields