Convict Surgeonfish (Convict Tang) [Bandos Island Reef, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives, Asia] .

- Image ID: AXP6AK
Al Pidgen / Imagine Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: AXP6AK
Acanthuridae ("thorn tail") is the family of surgeonfishes, tang, and unicornfishes. The family includes about 80 species in six genera, all of which are marine fish living in tropical seas, usually around coral reefs. Many of the species are brightly colored and popular for aquaria. The manini (Acanthurus triostegus) is a small surgeonfish about five inches long. It is yellow with black stripes on its side like a zebra. Its resemblance to a prisoner’s uniform gave it the nicknames of convict surgeonfish and convict tang. Manini is one of the favorite food fishes found everywhere in shallow waters around the islands of Samoa and the Hawaiian islands. Like alogo (Acanthurus lineatus), the manini belong to the family of surgeonfishes, because of their sharp blades by their tail fin. Even though they have this weapon, they do not use it much. Manini often swim in huge schools of thousands. There are two reasons why they have such huge schools. First, it helps them escape predators. When a large fish attacks a school of manini, they scatter like an explosion. This move confuses the predator and the manini get away. Each manini then has another chance at life if they stay with the group. Second, the manini also use their schooling behavior for food. They like to feed on thin algae which is fiercely guarded by alogo and damselfishes. Just the sight of manini get the alogo fired up. A single manini would not even stand a chance against these predators but a group can succeed. When the alogo chases one manini, the rest of them eat the alogo’s garden of algae. In the aquaruim Manini requires a tank of at least 70 gallons to thrive at full size. It has a peaceful attitude and rarely gets into conflict with other herbivores, though many fish will "pick" on the this fish. In the aquarium it requires lots of live rock to grow algae on. May pick on small soft corals but is primarally reel safe. This photograph is part of the Imagine Images Collection, hosted by Alamy,
Location: Bandos Island Reef, Kaafu Atoll, Maldives, Asia. .