five-band surgeonfish

Scientific name Acanthurus tractus
Descriptor Poey
Year of description 1860
IUCN category LC
Family Acanthuridae
Genus Acanthurus
Acanthurus tractus Acanthurus tractus


Acanthurus tractus, commonly known as five-band surgeonfish, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    20 cm
  • Maximum size
    38 cm
  • Longevity
    31 year
  • Shape
  • Average size
    20 cm
  • Maximum size
    38 cm
  • Longevity
    31 year
  • Shape

How to recognize the five-band surgeonfish ?

The five-band surgeonfish measures between 20 and 38 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly gris body.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    omnivorous with herbivorous tendency
  • Sociability
    living in small groups
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The five-band surgeonfish is a fish living in small groups naturally found near the bottom. The members of each group are organized around a well established hierarchy. This species is omnivorous with herbivorous tendency .

The five-band surgeonfish is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. Relationships between conspecifics are also hectic, with each seeking to secure its place. Parrying or even sustained fighting can occur between dominant males.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond en eau libre

The five-band surgeonfish is a fish ovipare qui pond en eau libre.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    23 - 27 °C
  • Depth
    2 - 45 m

Biotope presentation

The five-band surgeonfish is most often found at a depth between 2m and 45m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

To go further

Species of the same family

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Achille Lenglin

Achille Lenglin


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Species of the same family

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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