In the waters of the South Pacific of Costa Rica one of the most striking and beautiful fish families are undoubtedly the surgeon fish (Family Acanthuridae), named after the sharp thorn they present at the base of their tail, similar to a scalpel. The fish can fold and unfold his spine at will in case of a threat.
Of the 75 species of surgeon fish in the world, in the South Pacific of Costa Rica we find one of the most beautiful, the defendant surgeon fish, lemon colored with five thin vertical black stripes (like a prisoner behind bars). This fish family usually measures between 15 and 40 cm.
They are herbivores, feeding mainly on algae on rocks or corals.
Reaching maturity at two years of age they are able to reproduce, like most fish, by external fertilization. Males and females form groups and seek a suitable place like a tunnel in coral reefs, where they release millions of eggs and sperm simultaneously. Fertilized eggs develop into larvae that float in the sea for about three months.
If you want to see this gem underwater we recommend a diving or snorkeling tour at Caño Island. This summer we will continue offering our Underwater Naturalist courses with local tour operators at the Marine Ballena National Park and Caño Island.