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n. pl. surgeonfish or sur·geon·fish·es
Any of various brightly colored tropical marine fishes of the family Acanthuridae, having a laterally compressed body with one or more sharp erectile spines near the base of the tail, and often kept in home aquariums. Also called tang.

[From its lancetlike spines, which resemble surgeons' instruments.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -fish or -fishes
(Animals) any tropical marine spiny-finned fish of the family Acanthuridae, having a compressed brightly coloured body with one or more knifelike spines at the base of the tail
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.surgeonfish - brightly colored coral-reef fish with knifelike spines at the tailsurgeonfish - brightly colored coral-reef fish with knifelike spines at the tail
percoid, percoid fish, percoidean - any of numerous spiny-finned fishes of the order Perciformes
Acanthurus chirurgus, doctorfish, doctor-fish - surgeon fish of the West Indies
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The likelihood of extinction of iconic and dominant herbivores and detritivores of coral reefs: the parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. PLOS ONE 7(7), e39825.
Functional groups that composed more than 10% of the catch per gear type were included: for example, over this time span, 23% of the targeted browsers (e.g., unicornfishes [Naso spp.]), 12% of the target grazers (most surgeonfishes [Acanthurus spp.]), and 37% of the roving piscivores (e.g., jacks) were caught by gill-net fishing; therefore, we added the estimates of biomass from the visual surveys for those 3 groups for the calculation of q for gill-net fishing.
Acanthuridae are a monophyletic fish family composed of about 80 species, popularly known as surgeonfishes or tangs [1].
(2009) studied three wild congeners species of surgeonfishes (Acanthurus coeruleus, Acanthurus bahianus and Acanthurus chirurgtis) collected from the same sites and observed differences in parasitological indexes between the species.
More than two thirds of the assemblage by NISP is made up of just four families: parrotfishes (l) (Scaridae), surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae), wrasses (Labridae), and emperors (Lethrinidae).
Below them, the thicket of what obviously was once a spectacular coral world is now choked in velvety algae and aswarm with the herbivorous species of parrotfishes, surgeonfishes, rabbitfishes, blennies, damselfishes, mollusks, and sea urchins.
Unidentified mullet Sphyraenidae, Barracudas 128 Sphyraena barracuda Great barracuda 129 Sphyraena picudilla Southern sennet Acanthuridae, Surgeonfishes 130 Acanthurus bahianus Ocean surgeon 131 Acanthurus chirurgus Doctorfish 132 Acanthurus coeruleus Blue tang Scombridae, Mackerels/Tunas 133 Acanthocybium solandri Wahoo 134 Euthynnus alletteratus Little tunny 135 Katsuwonus pelamis Skipjack tuna 136 Sarda sarda Atlantic bonito 137 Scomberomorus cavalla King mackerel 138 Scomberomorus maculatus Spanish mackerel 139 Scomberomorus regalis Cero mackerel 140 Thunnus albacares Yellowfin tuna 141 Thunnus atlanticus Blackfin tuna 142 Thunnus obesus Bigeye tuna 143 Thunnus spp.
Effects on population densities and grazing intensity of parrotfishes and surgeonfishes. Marine Biology 104:79-86.
On the spawning behavior and spawning cycles of eight surgeonfishes (Acanthuridae) from the Indo-Pacific.
Parrotfishes and surgeonfishes appear to play a critical role in preventing phase shifts to macroalgae but when presented with intact stands of macroalgae, their ability to remove the algae may be limited (Bellwood et al.