; subclass Actinopterygii, order Perciformes)
Large family of slab-sided fish that have a sharp spine on each side of the tail-base (hence the name ‘surgeonfish’). The spine is retractable in some species. Many species exhibit striking colour patterns. There are about 80 species, found in all tropical seas; many feed on organisms that cover the surface or rocks, or on sea-grasses.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.