from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of various bright-colored tropical marine fishes of the family Acanthuridae, having one or more sharp erectile spines near the base of the tail.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any of many brightly coloured fishes, of the family Acanthuridae, that have an erect spine near the tail
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. brightly colored coral-reef fish with knifelike spines at the tail
Other important components of the fringing reef ecosystem include algae (brown, red and green), marine invertebrates (shrimp, lobster, crabs and sea urchins) and fishes (parrotfish, wrasses, damselfish, surgeonfish, goatfish, jacks and sharks).
Deep-reef fish include squirrelfish, soldierfish, surgeonfish, snappers and emperors.
Doctorfish typically feed above the reefs and surgeonfish typically feed in sandy areas and sea grass beds adjacent to the reef.
Acanthurus olivaceus - surgeonfish grazing on algae on new reef material.
Parrotfish, surgeonfish, northern sea urchin and other species also cause feeding damage on seaweed in Japanese waters.
On new substrates, rapid grazing by ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish kept communities in an early successional stage dominated by short, filamentous algae and crustose coralline algae that did not suppress coral growth.
In Year 1, we used the redband parrotfish (Sparisoma aurofrenatum) and the ocean surgeonfish (Acanthurus bahianus); in Year 2, we used the redband parrotfish and the princess parrotfish (Scarus taeniopterus).
These patterns contrast with patterns from established communities not undergoing primary succession; on established substrates redband parrotfish significantly reduced upright macroalgal cover while ocean surgeonfish and princess parrotfish allowed significant increases in late successional macroalgae.
Randall, J.E. 1956 A revision of the surgeonfish genus
The loss of algae-eating fish, such as parrotfish and surgeonfish, is worrying, says Paddack, because they help the reefs thrive by clearing away algae.
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