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Surgeonfishes, Tangs and Unicornfishes

Achilles Tang

Acanthurus achilles

       
(1: Hammerhead Point, Kona / 2-4: Pentagon, Kona / 5: Two Step, Kona / 6: Barge Harbor Nortth, Lanai / 7: Second Cathedral, Lanai / 8: High Rock, Kona)

Behind the Achilles tang in the first photo is a goldring surgeonfish.


Black Surgeonfish

Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis

       
(1-4: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 5: End of the World, Molokini / 6-7: The Dome, Kona / 8: Turtle Heaven, Kona)


Blueline Surgeonfish

Acanthurus nigroris

  
(1: Golden Arches, Kona / 2: Pyramid Point, Lehua / 3: Moray Eel Cove, Kona)

In the first picture, the blueline surgeonfish is the one on the right; the other two are goldring surgeonfish.


Brown Surgeonfish

Acanthurus nigrofuscus

     
(1,3: Shark Pit, Maui / 2: Menpachi Caves, Lanai / 4: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 5: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 6: Coral Galleries, Kauai)


Convict Tang

Acanthurus triostegus

       
(1: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 2: Fast Lanes, Kona / 3: Koko Craters, Oahu / 4-6: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 7: Amber's Arches, Kauai / 8: Mile Marker 4, Kona)

Juveniles can be found in shallow tidepools:

(1: Kealia Beach, Maui)


Eyestripe Surgeonfish

Acanthurus dussumieri

       
(1-2: Fast Lanes, Kauai / 3: Three Fingers, Kauai / 4,7: Amber's Arches, Kauai / 5-6: Harbor Ledges, Kauai / 8: Dog Beach, Kona)


Goldrim Tang

Acanthurus nigricans

      
(1: First Cathedral, Lanai / 2: Pawai, Kona / 3: Hoover's, Kona / 4-5: Pentagon, Kona / 6: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 7: Barge Harbor North, Lanai)


Goldring Surgeonfish

Ctenochaetus strigosus

       
(1: Mala Pier, Maui / 2: Pipe Dreams, Kona / 3: Kaloko Arches, Kona / 4: Pentagon, Kona / 5: Coral Galleries, Kauai / 6: Olowalu, Maui / 7: Hale O Honu, Kauai / 8: Turtle Heaven, Kona)

Goldring surgeonfish will clean algae off of the backs of green sea turtles:

(1: St. Anthony Wreck, Maui)

Juveniles are smaller and yellow, and can be mistaken for yellow tangs:
     
(1-2: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 3: Harbor Ledges, Kauai / 4: Skull Cave, Kona / 5: The Dome, Kona / 6: High Rock, Kona)


Orangeband Surgeonfish

Acanthurus olivaceus

       
(1: Lighthouse, Lanai / 2: Golden Arches, Kona / 3: Kanaka Nui, Kauai / 4: Fast Lanes, Kauai / 5: Olowalu, Maui / 6: Sheraton Caverns, Kauai / 7: Amber's Arches, Kauai / 8: Dog Beach, Kona)

This is a juvenile:
(1: The Dome, Kona)


Ringtail Surgeonfish

Acanthurus blochii

      
(1: Shark Pit, Maui / 2: Two Step, Kona / 3: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 4-6: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 7: Sheraton Caverns, Kauai)


Sailfin Tang

Zebrasoma veliferum

     
(1-2: Black Rock, Maui / 3: Mala Pier, Maui / 4,6: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 5: Two Step, Kona)


Thompson's Surgeonfish

Acanthurus thompsoni

(1: Three Fingers, Kauai)


Whitebar Surgeonfish

Acanthurus leucopareius

   
  
(1: Black Rock, Maui / 2: Sheraton Caverns, Kauai / 3-5: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 6: No Name, Lanai / 7: Pyramid Point, Lehua)


Whitespotted Surgeonfish

Acanthurus guttatus

 
(1: Black Rock, Maui / 2: The Dome, Kona)


Yellow Tang

Zebrasoma flavescens


       
(1,3: Reef's End, Molokini / 2: Menpachi Caves, Lanai / 4: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 5: Pentagon, Kona / 6: Two Step, Kona / 7: Skull Cave, Kona / 8: Mile Marker 4, Kona)

Juveniles are smaller relative to their fins and have a more triangular shape:
  
(1: Hoover's, Kona / 2: Pine Trees Point, Kona / 3: Turtle Heaven, Kona)

Occasionally, some yellow tangs will have white patches, or be almost totally white.
  
(1-2: The Dome, Kona / 3: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona)

This one has a bite taken out of it, probably by an eel:
(1: Reef's End, Molokini)


Yellowfin Surgeonfish

Acanthurus xanthopterus

   
(1: Inner Crater, Molokini / 2: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 3-4: Mala Pier, Maui)


Unicornfishes

Bluespine Unicornfish

Naso unicornis

       
(1: Garbonzo's Lair, Molokini / 2: Black Rock, Maui / 3: Two Step, Kona / 4-5: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 6-7: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 8: Sheraton Caverns, Kauai)

The fourth picture is a smaller fish, taken at night.


Gray Unicornfish

Naso caesius

   
(1: End of the World, Molokini / 2: Reef's End, Molokini / 3-4: Vertical Awareness, Lehua)

Notice the vertical oval spots in the first picture; that's the only way to tell these apart from sleek unicornfish underwater.


Orangespine Unicornfish

Naso lituratus

       
(1: Enenue, Molokini / 2: First Cathedral, Lanai / 3: The Dome, Kona / 4: Kahalu'u Beach Park, Kona / 5-6: Garden Eel Cove, Kona / 7: Hale O Honu, Kauai / 8: Dog Beach, Kona)


Paletail Unicornfish

Naso brevirostris

       
(1: Kua Bay, Kona / 2: Mario World, Oahu / 3: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 4-5: Mala Pier, Maui / 6-8: Black Rock, Maui)

These followed me out from the beach at Black Rock; my guess is that the tourists have been feeding them:
(1: Black Rock, Maui)


Sleek Unicornfish

Naso hexacanthus

       
(1-2,6: Sheraton Caverns, Kauai / 3: Harbor Ledges, Kauai / 4: Fast Lanes, Kauai / 5: Turtle Canyons, Oahu / 7: Vertical Awareness, Lehua / 8: Dog Beach, Kona)