Palette surgeonfish, Wedge-tail surgeon
  • Paracanthurus hepatus
  • English Name : Palette surgeonfish, Wedge-tail surgeon
  • Local Name : Dhon noo kaalhu
  • Size : Max. 31 cm
  • Family : ACANTHURIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 9 spines and 19-20 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 18-19 rays. Pectoral rays 16. Pelvic fins with 1 spine and 3 rays. Body depth of adults 2.3 in standard length; caudal spine about 4.0 in head length. Caudal fin of juveniles slightly rounded; of adults truncate with lobe tips slightly projecting.
  • Colour: Body bright blue. Tail yellow, and black markings on sides.
  • Habitat and Biology: Typically found on the reef edge in clear outer reefs or channels where there is substantial current. Feeds on zooplankton. Groups of small individuals are usually associated with heads of branching corals.
  • Distribution: Indo-Pacific.
  • Remarks: Paracanthurus hepatus is one of the most beautiful of all reef fishes. It is not common in the Maldives. Being a rare but beautiful species, it is advised not to catch it.