Mimic Surgeonfish (species: Acanthurus pyroferus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Acanthurus pyroferus
Mimic Surgeonfish

©Graham Edgar: Juvenile Acanthurus pyroferus at Cod Hole near Lizard Island

©Graham Edgar: An adult Acanthurus pyroferus at Cod Hole near Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Acanthuridae
Genus Acanthurus
Species Acanthurus pyroferus



Distinguishing features

Adults are brown with yellow pectoral fins, a broad yellow band on trailing edge of tail, a broad black band between chin and top of gill cover, and an orange patch above base of pectoral fin. Juveniles look very different to adults and are thought to mimic angelfishes to avoid predation.


  • Up to 7 cm (Length) - applies to Juveniles
  • From 7 cm to 10 cm (Length) - applies to Adults

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Uncommon in the Lizard Island area.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Clements, K.D. (1991). Gut microorganisms of surgeonfishes (Family Acanthuridae), Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, Townsville. LIRS catalog number 321.
  • Clements, K.D., G.R. Russ, D. McB. Williams and A.M. Ayling (1988). A species list of the family Acanthuridae (Pisces) of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia, with notes on latitudinal distribution patterns,manuscript only. LIRS catalog number 242.
  • View all references