Paracanthurus hepatus Bleeker, 1863, commonly known as blue surgeon fish, is a marine water fish belonging to the family Acanthuridae. It is the only species of the genus Paracanthurus. Paracanthurus hepatus Pesce Chirurgo Blu intotheblue.it
Distribution and habitat
It is widespread in the tropical eastern Pacific Ocean, where coral reefs mainly inhabit, preferring temperatures between 28 ° C / 30 ° C, and a density that fluctuates between 1018/1022.
The body is very flattened and elongated, with a dorsal fin extending almost the entire back. The livery is very colorful, has a dark blue base color on which stands a black spot in the shape of a crab claw. The caudal fin is yellow, while the fins are bordered in black. Like any Acanturide, it has the typical shield of the surgeon fish on the caudal peduncle, even if not very evident.
It reaches a maximum length of 31 centimeters, although it does not commonly exceed 18/20 centimeters.
A very sociable animal, P. hepatus is a skilled and tireless swimmer, famous for his singular and very captivating behaviors.
The specimens of this family are more peaceful than the average of the surgeon fish, but at the same time much more delicate and frightened. They suffer greatly from the proximity of other surgeon fish of the same livery (such as Acanthurus leucosternon) with which they continually quarrel, until death. Instead, they cohabit with all the other less aggressive fish, especially with the genus Zebrasoma (Zebrasoma flavescens).
The behavior observed in marine or reef aquariums is very curious; in fact it has been noticed that the specimens of this species usually sleep on their side, often quarreling with the aquarium glasses and pretending to be dead, abandoning the colors of the livery.
Like any surgeon fish also the Paracanthurus hepatus is a herbivorous animal, and its diet is mainly of algae.