Acanthurus nigricans

Velvet surgeonfish | Gold-rim Tang | Goldrim Surgeonfish | Gray Surgeonfish | White-cheeked Surgeonfish | Whiteface Surgeonfish | Whitetail Surgeonfish | Yellowrimmed Surgeonfish
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans, French Polynesia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans, Bali, Indonesia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans, Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans
Acanthurus nigricans


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Pale blue or white patch beneath eye, and similar coloured oblique bar at corner of mouth, yellow stripes along bases of dorsal and anal fins, yellow tail spine, pale blue tail with a vertical yellow bar, and blue margins on fins. Very distinct and neat markings. Often found hiding in caves and holes around steep bommies and drop-offs.


Max Size: 21 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 23.4-31.2°C

Depth: 1-67m

Habitat Generalization Index: 26.2

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: Common (29.0% 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 (10 per transect)

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

Edit by: Joe Shields