[Coral-List] surgeonfish spines as weapons
capman at augsburg.edu
Mon Jun 20 10:56:39 EDT 2016
It is not uncommon for tangs (e.g. Zebrasoma and Paracanthurus species)
kept in aquaria to slash at other fish (usually other tangs, but also any
other fish that are aggressive toward them) during disputes. Often there
is no damage to the other fish, but I have had clownfish that were
aggressive toward tangs (protecting clutches of eggs) occasionally get
slash wounds (one female percula clown came close to losing an eye, which
prompted me to move that pair to a different aquarium without tangs). I've
occasionally seen slash wounds on other tangs too.
Also, I was once slashed by a Paracanthurus when moving it between
tanks...it was like a cut from a razor blade.
None of my observations above are from the wild, but such observations are
commonplace for those keeping tangs in aquaria.
On Jun 20, 2016 9:37 AM, "Robinson, Michael P" <MPRobinson at barry.edu> wrote:
Does anyone have observations of any species of surgeonfish (Acanthuridae)
using their caudal spines as weapons? That is the conventional wisdom on
the function of these spines, but I am interested in evidence of their use.
For example, there is a photo in Jack Randall's _Surgeonfishes of the
World_ of wounds on a surgeonfish that match the size and shape of a
If you have any evidence or observations of a surgeonfish using its
spine(s) either defensively or aggressively, I would love to hear about
it. Anything is appreciated: photos, videos or stories.
If you prefer, send me a private email and I will post a summary to the
Thanks in advance!
mprobinson at barry.edu
Michael P. Robinson, Asst. Prof.
Dept. of Biology, Barry University
11300 NE 2 AVE, Miami Shores FL 33161-6695
mprobinson at mail.barry.edu<mailto:mprobinson at mail.barry.edu>
office & lab: NHS 216B
office: 305-899-4930; lab: 305-899-3909; fax: 305-899-3225
Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
More information about the Coral-List