Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits shallow, clear coastal and island coral reefs (Ref. 9710). Usually found on reef flats and along upper seaward slopes (Ref. 9710). May occur singly or in large feeding aggregations. Monogamous (Ref. 52884). Feeds on benthic algae; on small, sparsely scattered algae and small growths in crevices (Ref. 28026). Caught with nets (Ref. 30573). Marketed fresh.
  • Randall, J.E. 1956 A revision of the surgeonfish genus Acanthurus. Pac. Sci. 10(2):159-235. (Ref. 1920)
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Distribution

Range Description

Acanthurus leucosternon is found from East Africa to Natal, eastwards to the Andaman Sea, Lesser Sunda Islands of southern Indonesia at least to Komodo, including Christmas and Cocos Keeling Islands. There was one sighting from the Gulf of Oman (Randall 1995). It is not known from the Red Sea.
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Indian Ocean: eastern Africa to the Andaman Sea, southwest Indonesia and Christmas Island; with range extended to Bali, Indonesia in Western Pacific (Ref. 37792).
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
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Indian Ocean: East Africa, South Afrfica, Seychelles, Madagascar and western Mascarenes east to Indonesia.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 28 - 30; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 23 - 26
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Size

Maximum size: 540 mm TL
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Max. size

54.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573))
  • Sommer, C., W. Schneider and J.-M. Poutiers 1996 FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of Somalia. FAO, Rome. 376 p. (Ref. 30573)
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Diagnostic Description

Blue with a white chest (Ref. 3145). Head black with a broad white band from pectoral-fin base to throat. No distinct white spot or broad white band below eye. Dorsal fin yellow (except white margin and black submarginal line). Anal and pelvic fins white (Ref 9808).Description: Characterized further by having white band at base of lips; white caudal fin; length of caudal spine 2.5-3.0 in head length; greatest depth of body 1.7-1.9 in SL (Ref. 90102).
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Description

Inhabits coral reefs. May occur singly or in large feeding aggregations. Feeds on benthic algae. Marketed fresh. Usually inhabits in reef flat and edge (Ref. 6113).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Acanthurus leucosternon inhabits inshore reefs and is known to occur in large feeding aggregations. It is generally found on reef flats and along upper seaward slopes (Kuiter and Debelius 2001). It is classified as a grazer (Green and Bellwood 2009). The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).


Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 25 m (Ref. 9710), usually 0 - 25 m (Ref. 27115)
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
  • Baensch, H.A. and H. Debelius 1997 Meerwasser atlas. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Postfach 86, 49302, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. 3rd edition. (Ref. 27115)
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Depth range based on 9 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 7 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2.25 - 15
  Temperature range (°C): 27.169 - 28.749
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.074 - 0.374
  Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 35.169
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.484 - 4.696
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.173 - 0.327
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.829 - 4.869

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2.25 - 15

Temperature range (°C): 27.169 - 28.749

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.074 - 0.374

Salinity (PPS): 32.279 - 35.169

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.484 - 4.696

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.173 - 0.327

Silicate (umol/l): 2.829 - 4.869
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 0 - 25m.
Recorded at 25 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Inhabits shallow, clear coastal and island coral reefs (Ref. 9710). Usually found on reef flats and along upper seaward slopes (Ref. 9710). May occur singly or in large feeding aggregations. Feeds on benthic algae. Marketed fresh.
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Trophic Strategy

Herbivorous (Ref. 43650).
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Paired spawning (Ref. 240).
  • Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p. (Ref. 205)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Acanthurus leucosternon

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 13 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

ACACGCTGATTTTTCTCAACCAACCACAAAGATATTGGCACCCTTTATTTAGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCTGGAATAGTAGGAACGGCCCTG---AGCCTCCTAATCCGAGCAGAATTAAGCCAACCAGGCGCCCTCCTCGGGGAT---GACCAAATTTATAATGTAATTGTTACAGCACACGCATTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATTGGTGGATTTGGAAATTGATTAATTCCACTAATG---ATTGGAGCTCCCGACATAGCATTCCCACGAATAAATAATATGAGCTTTTGGCTCCTACCCCCGTCCTTCCTACTTCTACTGGCATCTTCTGCAGTAGAGTCTGGTGCTGGCACAGGGTGAACAGTATACCCTCCTCTAGCCGGTAATTTAGCACATGCAGGAGCATCTGTAGACCTA---ACCATTTTTTCCCTCCACCTCGCAGGTATTTCTTCAATTCTTGGAGCTATTAATTTTATTACAACAATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCTGCTATTTCTCAATATCAAACCCCCCTATTTGTATGAGCCGTACTAATTACTGCTGTCCTACTCCTTCTCTCACTTCCCGTTCTCGCCGCC---GGCATTACAATGCTACTAACAGACCGTAATCTAAACACTACCTTCTTTGATCCGGCAGGGGGAGGAGACCCCATCTTATACCAACATTTATTCTGATTCTTCGGCCACCCAGAAGTATATATTCTTATCCTACCAGGGTTTGGAATGATTTCCCACATTGTTGCCTACTATTCAGGCAAAAAA---GAACCTTTTGGTTATATGGGCATGGTGTGAGCTATAATAGCAATTGGATTACTAGGATTTATCGTCTGAGCCCATCATATGTTTACAGTTGGCATGGATGTAGACACACGTGCTTACTTCACATCTGCCACTATAATTATTGCAATTCCTACTGGTGTTAAAGTCTTTAGCTGACTG---GCCACT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Acanthurus leucosternon

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 13
Specimens with Barcodes: 19
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Nanola, C., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.

Reviewer/s
Davidson, L., Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Acanthurus leucosternon is widespread in the Indian Ocean. It is generally rare in parts of its range but achieves high abundances in some areas (e.g., Maldives, east African coast). It is a targeted species and is commonly collected for the aquarium trade. There were differences in densities observed between fished and protected areas (Mclanahan et al. 1999). However, this species is found in a number of marine reserves in parts of its distribution. We recommend further monitoring of the species' population status and harvesting trends. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Acanthurus leucosternon is rare in the Cocos Keeling and Christmas Islands relative to Acanthurus cf. leucosternon and A. nigricans (Marie et al. 2007). It is generally rare in the western Indian Ocean. In Seychelles, less than 5 individuals/1,000 m2 were recorded. In Cocos, an average of 0.51 per 1,000 m2 (58 transects) were recorded. It is not abundant on continental or fringing reefs. Surveys in Mauritius, Reunion and Sri Lanka did not record it as an abundant Acanthurid (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

In the Maldives, it reaches fairly high abundances (average of 35 per 1,000 m2) and 318 per ha (Edwards and Shepherd 1992). It achieves high abundances in reef flats and was most abundant on reef slopes outside the atoll rim. Its density decreases with increasing depth (Sluka and Miller 2001). On the east African coast, 4.4 per 1,000 m2 were recorded in marine reserves (McClanahan et al. 1999).

Visual census surveys along the Aceh coast, Indonesia, recorded fish densities of 33 individuals/750 m2 at Pantai sirkui, 21 individuals/750 m2 at Teupin Layeu and 22 individuals/750 m2 at Teluk Pelabuhan (FMIPA 2007).

In Kenya, landings during 1978-2001 for families that are less important in commercial catches (e.g., scarinae and Acanthuridae) showed rising catches (1978-1984) followed by a general decline during the 1990s, but the landings for the scarinae showed a rising trend in recent years (Kaunda-Arara et al. 2003).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
Acanthurus leucosternon is a targeted fish species and is generally rare in parts of its range (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010). On the east African coast, differences were observed in densities between fished (average of 0.56 per 500 m2) and protected areas (average of 2.27 per 500 m2) (McClanahan et al. 1999).

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in parts of its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: medium; price reliability: very questionable: based on ex-vessel price for species in this family
  • Randall, J.E. 1984 Acanthuridae. In W. Fischer and G. Bianchi (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean (Fishing Area 51). Vol. 1. FAO, Rome. pag. var. (Ref. 3146)
  • Baensch, H.A. 1992 Neue Meerwasser-Praxis. Tetra Verlag, Melle, Germany.
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Wikipedia

Acanthurus leucosternon

Acanthurus leucosternon is a marine tropical fish belonging to the family of the Acanthuridae, or surgeonfishes. Its common names are powder blue tang and powderblue surgeonfish.

Description[edit]

The fish can reach an average size of 23 cm in length.[1] The body has an oval shape and is compressed laterally. Like other surgeonfishes, Acanthurus leucosternon swims with its pectoral fins. The caudal fin has a crescent shape. The fish has a "surgeon's scalpel," an erected part of the spine located at the base of the tail.[2] The mouth is small and pointed in a beak-like manner with tiny and sharp teeth for reaching narrow spaces of food.[3] Its sides are blue;[3] its dorsal fin and the base of caudal fin are yellow;[3] the head is black;[3] the mouth, the throat area, the anal and pelvic fins are white.[4] The pectoral fins are transparent with yellow reflections. The intensity of its blue color shows off if the fish is healthy or not.[citation needed] The fish does not undergo color changes as it matures; as some tangs, surgeonfish and unicornfish do.

Habitat[edit]

Acanthurus leucosternon is found in tropical waters from the Indian Ocean.[5] The species inhabits shallow and clear coastal waters always associated with a reef. It likes flat top reef and along seaward slopes.[5]

Behaviour[edit]

The powder blue tang, like most fish in the Acanthuridae family, is herbivorous, eating mostly benthic algae.[6] Acanthurus leucosternon has a diurnal activity. It is solitary, territorial and aggressive with other surgeonfish.[1] In cases where food is plentiful, it may feed in shoals, but in cases of scarcity, it may compete individually for food.[3] It may use its surgeon's scalpel as a defensive weapon.[1]

Economic value[edit]

The tang is uncommonly harvested for anything other than the marine aquarium industry. It is a commonly sold fish that is moderately difficult to care for, although its popularity is easily exceeded by the Blue tang and Yellow Tang. They are very prone to Cryptocaryon irritans.[1] They are reef safe and are compatible with most species except other acanthurus.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Lougher, Tristan (2006). What Fish?: A Buyer's Guide to Marine Fish. Interpet Publishing. p. 111. ISBN 0-7641-3256-3. 
  2. ^ Clipperton, John (1 September 2013). "Powder Blue Tang – Acanthurus leucosternon". Marine Habitat magazine. Fish Junkies Ltd. Retrieved 13 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e DK Publishing (17 January 2011). Animal Life: Secrets of the Animal World Revealed. DK Publishing. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7566-8886-8. 
  4. ^ Andreas Vilcinskas, La vie sous-marine des tropiques, Vigot, 2002, 475 p. (ISBN 2711415252), p. 366
  5. ^ a b "Facts about Powder Blue Tang (Acanthurus leucosternon) - Encyclopedia of Life". Eol.org. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  6. ^ "Acanthurus leucosternon, Powderblue surgeonfish : fisheries, aquarium". Fishbase.org. 2012-07-03. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
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