Please visit our Sponsors

Related FAQs: Fishes of Hawai'i, Articles on: The Best Butterflyfishes of Hawai'i, Triggerfishes of Hawai'i

Related Articles: Introduction to Fishwatcher's Guide Series Pieces/Sections, Scott's Trip to Maui/Hawai'i,   Holualoa property

A Fishwatcher's Guide to the Marine  Fishes of Hawai'i

Part 5 of 5, To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Bob Fenner

Acanthurus olivaceus

The, Tangs, Surgeons, Family Acanthuridae, are both numerous and speciose in Hawai'i, with two dozen species and millions of individuals. Some of these surgeons grow too large for aquarium use, and/or are deemed not attractive enough to be of use. Notwithstanding these criteria, the half of them that are utilized in the trade run the full spectrum of aquarium suitabilility.

Acanthurus achilles, the Achilles Tang (3), is well named for the allusion to the self-same heel of mythology; this fish rarely lives any time in captivity.

Acanthurus. achilles Shaw 1803, Achilles tang. Widely distributed from Hawaii westward through Micronesia and Melanesia, an area called Oceania. Though the best specimens do hail from U.S.'s 50th state success with this species can only be had by securing a healthy specimen, providing a large well-established living space, with high, consistent specific gravity and oxygen concentration. Shown, aquarium specimen and one in the Cooks

Acanthurus blochii Valenciennes 1835, the Ringtail Surgeonfish. A larger (up to seventeen inches) schooling species, often found shoaling over sandy areas. Found widespread throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. Note the white bar across this species caudal peduncle. Shown, a juvenile and adult in Hawai'i.

A. dussumieri, Dussumier's or the Eyestripe Surgeonfish (2), really gets too large at a foot and a half for aquarium use, but has been seen in pet-fish markets recently.

Acanthurus dussumieri Valenciennes 1835, the Eyestripe or Dussumier's Surgeonfish. This is a highly variably colored fish. Some are drab gray, whereas some I've seen from Hawai'i sported brilliant yellow around their body margin with beautiful royal purple highlights. This surgeon is more like the genus Ctenochaetus in its feeding habits, sifting sand and detritus in addition to algae scraping. Specimens off Maui, Kona and Kona. To eighteen inches long in the wild.

Acanthurus guttatus Forster 1801, the Spotted or Mustard Surgeonfish you might easily take for a Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma) member for its circular outline, broad bars and active swimming behavior. I've encountered mixed results with this species; some batches living well others dying mysteriously. Wild and captive pix.

Acanthurus leucopareius (Jenkins 1903), the Whiteband or Whitebar Surgeonfish, tends to be a picky feeder, hard to train off its favored food, filamentous algae. To about eight inches overall length. Pacific; Southern Japan to Noumea over to Hawai'i.  Hawai'i images. 

A. nigricans (formerly A. glaucopareius), the Goldrim or Powder Brown Surgeonfish (3), is called the Cat Tang in the trade in Hawai'i. A quite similar Indo-Pacific species, the White Faced Surgeonfish is a much sturdier species for aquarium use.

Acanthurus nigricans (Linnaeus 1758) Whitecheek to science, Powder Brown Surgeonfish to aquarists. Formerly mis-identified as A. glaucopareius. Pan Pacific. To about eight inches maximum length. See article on this and the very similar, but more pet-fish-appropriate A. japonicus. At right in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia.

A. nigrofuscus, the Brown or Spot-Cheeked Surgeonfish, (2) should be more utilized in the reef part of our interest. This is a pretty hardy (though not awfully pretty) algae scraper; on par with the best Zebrasomas for the purpose, and very common on HI reefs.

Acanthurus nigrofuscus (Forsskal 1775), the blackish Brown or Spot-Cheeked Surgeonfish. Manageable size (to eight inches), and moderate behavior toward other fishes qualify the Brown Tang as a desirable aquarium species especially as an algae controller. Unfortunately it is a rather plain fish. Hawai'i image.  

Acanthurus nigroris Valenciennes 1835, the Bluelined or Cuvier's Surgeonfish. Found throughout Oceania. To ten inches in length. A beauty that is often rare in the wild and absent in aquarium use. Hawai'i image. 

A. olivaceus, the Orange- -Band, -Epaulette or -Shoulder Surgeonfish (3) should only be kept by the truly dedicated specialized aquarist with a huge system. This species grows to a foot and becomes extremely territorial in many settings.

Acanthurus olivaceus Forster & Schneider 1801, the Orange Spot/Shoulder Tang. A hardy fish out of Hawaii and elsewhere, but unfortunately, a behavioral terror in the ranks of A. lineatus. This is an active fish that grows to more than a foot in length. Place only with MEAN tankmates. A juvenile, sub-adult and adult pictured, Fiji, Hawai'i and Hawai'i respectively.

Acanthurus thompsoni (Fowler 1923), the White-Tailed Surgeonfish, a good name for this species except for its populations in Hawaii which bear no white on their tail areas. Another name for this planktivore is Thompson's Surgeonfish. Though not a striking beauty, this Whitetail tang is a good feeder and stays moderate small (to ten inches). Rarely imported into the trade. A Hawaiian specimen.

A. triostegus, the Convict Surgeonfish (2), can be elevated to #1 rank kept in a large system with plenty of filamentous algae and a few conspecifics to school with.

Acanthurus triostegus (Linnaeus 1758), (manini) Convict Tang or Manini (Hawaiian). One of the best Acanthurus for use in reef tanks for its size, easy going temperament and habit of consuming fine, filamentous algae. Reserved for native Hawaiian use in Hawai'i, but available from elsewhere. Juvenile in Hawai'i and a marauding school on the prowl in the Cooks.

Acanthurus xanthopterus Valenciennes 1835, (pualu) the Yellowfin Surgeonfish. Similar to the Ringtail and Eyestripe Surgeonfishes, but lacks the other two's light caudal coloration. This is the largest member of the genus Acanthurus, to about 22 inches long. A specimen in the Cooks. 

Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis, the Chevron (Chevy) Tang or Black Surgeonfish (as adults)(1) is a real winner. Hardy, gorgeous and a good algae picker for reef aquarists. As with all tangs (and the vast majority of marines) it's best to start with juveniles of good health.

Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis (Chevron Tang); All Ctenochaetus species change color with age but the chevron is most striking. Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis young are unforgettable; bold orange bodied covered with variegated lines of electric blue. Adults shift to a deeper orange red base covered with darkish blue uneven horizontal lines, ultimately to almost black. Below, juvenile and adult specimens in aquariums and a splendid adult off of Kailua-Kona, Hawai'i.

C. strigosus, the Goldring, Yellow-Eye or Kole ("Coal-eh") Tang (1) is also a great species for peaceful all-fish, fish and invertebrate and reef tanks, and much less money than the Chevy.

Ctenochaetus strigosus Bennett 1828, the Yellow-eyed or Kole Tang; since this and the Chevron Tangs range encompass the principal islands of Hawaii they are the principal species utilized in the West (though the Kole is found from all the way over in the Indian Ocean). The Kole ("coal-ay") is more shallow water, surface to sixty feet or so, and the chevron is generally collected in fifty feet plus. At right: in an aquarium. Below: Aquarium, Cook Islands and Bunaken, Sulawesi, Indonesia images to show diversity in color, markings.... almost always a discernible yellow eye surround... body and tail color differing.

Naso annulatus (Quoy & Gaimard 1825), the Whitemargin Unicornfish. Indo-Pacific; East Africa to Hawai'i. To a meter in length. This eight inch one off of Heron Island, Australia's Great Barrier Reef. 

Naso brevirostris (Valenciennes 1835),  sometimes called the Shortnose Unicorn Tang, is mis-named both scientifically and colloquially; it has a long nose as an adult. There are Naso species with much shorter, even absent the "horn" on the head. This grayish-green bodied fish is occasionally imported from Hawaii and the Indo-Pacific. To two feet long. Hawai'i and Fiji pix.

Naso lituratus, the Naso, Lipstick Tang or Orangespine Unicornfish is great (1) coming out of Hawaii and the Red Sea; elsewhere I rate its aquarium success much lower. Though this is an eager eater, and in need of copious feeding, take care to not be too generous, as this fish can grow to 30 inches. Yes two and a half feet in the wild.

Naso lituratus, the Naso Tang to most aquarists; it is also known as the tricolor or lipstick tang. There are some who claim that "blonde" and "streamer" versions are different species; they're all Naso lituratus. To eighteen inches in the wild. Below, a Naso in an aquarium, he business end of a Naso in Hawai'i, and a beautiful "streamer" (male) there getting cleaned by a Cleaner Wrasse. 

N. unicornis, the Bluespine Unicornfish, or simply Unicornfish (1) is the only other member of a handful of other Hawaiian Nasos that make it into the aquarium interest. As with the Naso, this is another hardy, but large (two feet plus) import.

Naso unicornis (Forsskal 1775), the Bluespine, Large or Bignose Unicornfish, is a deep-bodied species that develops a prominent rostral horn starting at about five inches length. The body is light olive to gray with yellowish highlights on the abdomen; to more than two feet. Adult and juvenile shown.

Sailfin Tangs, genus Zebrasoma in Hawai'i:

Zebrasoma flavescens, the Yellow Tang (1), easily one of the top ten marine aquarium species by popularity and number utilized and the most collected species in Hawai'i. Aquarium sub-adult and Hawai'i adult.

Z. veliferum, the Sailfin Tang (2), is unfortunately generally offered at too large a size to start with (more than 4") and adapt to aquarium conditions. This species is generally collected from elsewhere (Philippines, Coral Sea, Fiji, Indian Ocean, Micronesia). To 15".

Zebrasoma veliferum (Bloch 1795), the Pacific Sailfin Tang. Collected out of the Philippines and Indonesia, though better out of Hawaii, Ceylon and other places in the eastern Pacific. Some call this THE Sailfin tang for it's gorgeous flowing dorsal and anal finnage; these especially over-sized in appearance when young. Here are two and four inch juveniles in Fiji and a larger (10") individual in Hawai'i. As mentioned above D. desjardinii is considered a junior synonym of this species currently.

Ecotype: The near-shore species roam shallow to mid-depth reefs searching for algal food; more open ocean types look for floating macrophytes and zooplankton offshore.

The Moorish Idol, Family Zanclidae. This is the same species as collected throughout the eastern Pacific to the Indo-Pacific. Though it does best coming out of Hawai'i, I still rate Zanclus cornutus a dismal (3). Most die in the process of collection and transport just getting to your dealers; less than one percent are alive three months from capture.

Zanclus cornutus (Linnaeus 1758), the Moorish Idol.  Indo-Pacific. Can be kept in captivity, though rarely lives due to trauma in capture, holding, shipping, starvation during this time, damage to their mouths... Omnivores that mainly feed on benthic invertebrates. Principally sponges... and algae. Adults have a prominent spine in front of their eyes that is larger in males. This one off of Queensland, Australia.

Barracudas, Family Sphyraenidae: Unmistakable stiff, tube-like bodies beginning with rows of pointed sharp teeth. Two Hawaiian species. 

Sphyraena barracuda (Walbaum 1792), the Great Barracuda. Circumtropical and subtropical; between 30 degrees north and south latitudes. Usually solitary, hanging out at the surface. Feeds on fishes and cephalopods mainly. To 200 cm., 50 kg. Red Sea (getting cleaned up by a pair of Labroides dimidiatus wrasses), Bahamas and St. Lucia images. 

Left-Eye Flounders, Family Bothidae. From time to time small specimens of these flatfishes are shipped out of Hawai'i. Listed as generic "Bothus" species, these are mostly the Common Flounder, B. mancus (2). Given proper care, mainly a soft sandy bottom, non-aggressive tankmates and adequate food, these "flatties" can be long lived in captivity.

Bothus mancus (Broussonet 1782), the Flowery Flounder. To 42 cm. in length. Indo-Pacific; East Africa to Hawai'i, Cocos I. Hawai'i pix.

Bothus pantherhinus (Ruppell 1830), the Leopard Flounder. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea, all of Indian Ocean to Hawai'i, Marquesas. To 39 cm. Found on sandy, silty bottoms. Males with prominent long pectoral fin on upper side. N. Sulawesi pix of a female and male profiles showing the short and long pectoral fins.

Soles, Family Soleidae:

Aserragodes therese Randall 1996, Therese's Sole. Three longitudinal intermittent series of dark spots. To about three inches overall. In the sand by day, out more openly during dark hours. Hawaiian endemic. Here in Hawai'i at night.

Ecotype: Shallow broken reef/rubble zones to sand and grass beds, on the bottom.

Balistidae, the Triggerfishes. Triggers are well known for several traits; being tough and hardy; aggressive and even playful to the extent to sampling their tankmates to death (not reef tank candidates), even biting divers who come to close near mating/nesting time. Most of the eleven species found in Hawai'i make it into pet-fish markets. They are all to a degree good for rough fish-only set-ups, and do well if received in initial good condition.

Sometimes the plain-Jane Finescale Trigger, Balistes polylepis Steindachner 1876, comes into the trade out of the tropical eastern Pacific, but it is ugly and grows to two feet. Here my old roomie Gary Okonowsky holds up "the catch" before making la sopa.

Melichthys niger, the (Hawaiian) Black Durgeon or Trigger (2) is mellow as far as triggerfishes go, and stays relatively small (a foot). Circumtropical, but best from HI.

Most wholesalers offer two species of Melichthys more or less continuously, the circumtropical Black (Durgeon) Triggerfish, Melichthys niger (Bloch 1786) (usually out of Hawai'i), to eighteen inches. Pictured: an individual in the Bahamas, and one in Maui, Hawai'i.

M. vidua, the Pinktail Trigger or Durgeon (1), is much the same as the Black above in size and temperament, but more beautiful and hardy.

And the Pinktail Trigger, Melichthys vidua (Richardson 1845), is the other commonly offered member of the genus. Found throughout the Indo-Pacific. These are "medium" aggressive fish species that grow to about a foot in length in captivity, sixteen inches in the wild. Here are specimens in captivity and Hawai'i.

Rhinecanthus aculeatus, the Picasso, Lagoon Triggerfish, or shades of Don Ho (singing) the Humu Humu Nukunuku Apua'a (1). The Pinktails information applies to this species as well. Evenly tempered, beautiful, and grows to about a foot in length.

The most popular Rhinecanthus species is immortalized in the song of none other than Don Ho himself. This is the Humuhumu nukunuku apua'a (literally "water pig with a needle" in Hawaiian, in reference to grunting noise they make and their spiny dorsal "trigger"), AKA the Picasso or Lagoon Trigger (aka the "Blackbar" to science), Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus 1758). Below, one inch baby in the wild (Maldives), two and six inch specimens in captivity shown.

R. rectangulus, the Reef, Rectangle or confusingly also a/the Humu Triggerfish (2). About the same size and nature as the Picasso, but slightly less hardy on average.

The Rectangle or Reef Triggerfish ("Wedge-Tail Triggerfish" to science), Rhinecanthus rectangulus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)shares the waters and common Humu name with the Picasso in Hawai'i. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, east African coast. Shown here as a baby and adult in Hawai'i. To one foot in length.

Sufflamen bursa, the Boomerang or Lei Triggerfish (2), though not the "Bursa" Trigger as its scientific name might lead one to think (that's R. verrucosus).

Most commonly offered are the Sickle, Lei or my favorite, Boomerang Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa (Bloch & Schneider 1801), (mainly out of Hawai'i), an adult there shown and a smaller (four inch) individual in the Cooks.

Sufflamen fraenatus (Latreille 1804), the Masked Triggerfish. Indo-Pacific east African coast, out to Hawai'i, where this specimen is. To its right, one in Nuka Hiva, Marquesas, Polynesia. To fifteen inches in length.

Xanthichthys auromarginatus, the Blue Throat (males) or Gilded Triggerfish (1); males sell for more but are blessed with deep blue coloring under their chins and gold margining on their unpaired fins. To 8 inches.

Like the Blue Throat or Gilded Triggerfish, Xanthichthys auromarginatus (Bennett 1832), that are true reef dwellers. Here is a female and a male off of Maui, Hawai'i. Indo-west Pacific. To about a foot total length.

X. ringens, the Crosshatch Triggerfish (2). A deeper, and open-water zooplankton-eating species that does well in very large systems. To one foot in length.

A more open ocean species, the Redtail or Crosshatch Triggerfish, Xanthichthys mento (Jordan & Gillbert 1882). Entire tropical Pacific. To a foot in length. One in captivity and a school off of Socorro in the Eastern Pacific.

Ecotype: Associated in and under rocks and corals where they feed on most types of invertebrates and sleep and hide when approached.

Filefishes, Family Monacanthidae. The filefishes in general do not make good aquarium additions; most are too shy and retiring to get their share of food in mixed company. Others have rare, restricted diets, still others simply die without apparent cause overnight. The three Hawaiian files that occasionally come into the markets are better than average in survivability, but still the domain of advanced aquarists with time and space to specialize.

The circumtropical Scrawled Filefish, Aluterus scriptus, (3) is at times shipped out of Hawai'i. Small (about a foot) specimens are the only ones to adapt (they get to a yard long).

Aluterus scripta (Osbeck 1785), the Scrawled Filefish. Circumtropical. Sold in the trade occasionally, but gets way too big. Shown a tiny one foot specimen and a two foot youngster (Bunaken/Indonesia and Red Sea respectively) (to forty inches overall length).

Cantherhines dumerillii, the Clown or Barred Filefish (2), feeds on ramose corals' polyps and other benthic invertebrates.

Cantherhines dumerilii (Hollard 1854), the Whitespotted Filefish. Indo-Pacific. To fifteen inches maximum. Feeds on a variety of invertebrates including corals. A specimen chomping in the Andaman Sea off of Thailand, and one not eating corals in Hawai'i.

Pervagor spilosoma, the Fantail Filefish (2) is the best of the three. If you can get an intact specimen and keep it in a peaceful live rock setting it will usually live.

Pervagor spilosoma (Lay & Bennett 1839), the Fantail Filefish. Eastern Pacific, principally Hawai'i where it's occasionally shipped out of. To seven inches overall length. Feeds on algae and benthic invertebrates, including corals. Hawai'i photo. 

Ecotype: The Scrawled File lives above the reef to open oceans; the two others are more homebodies, living in shallow to mid-depths near reef and rock bottoms.

Puffers of all sorts.

Family Ostraciidae- Trunkfishes; puffers that don't (i.e. don't blow up); are encased in a hard dermal shell and prone to secrete a toxic slime (killing other tankmates too) when stressed. Two Trunkfish species come out of Hawai'i into the trade, but also come from other areas.

Lactoria fornasini (Bianconi 1846), the Thornback Cowfish. Indo-west Pacific, south-east Atlantic (South Africa). To nine inches. This four inch one in Hawai'i. The best member of the genus for aquarium use in my opinion (obviously).

The Blue (male) and Black (female) or Spotted (both) Boxfish, Ostracion meleagris (2), make okay aquarium selections for very peaceful settings.

Ostracion meleagris Shaw 1796, the Blue (male), Black (female) or Whitespotted Boxfish. Vying with the common Cowfish, Lactoria cornuta, for most commonly offered species in the family. Like other (demersal) Boxfish species, this one needs to be well fed... on the tank bottom, not the surface or mid-water. Take care with aggressive feeding tankmates. A female and male in Hawai'i and captivity below.

The Whitley's Trunkfish, O. whitleyi is a bit of an enigma geo-sexually. Practically only females are found around Hawai'i, and more males more toward French Polynesia.

Ostracion whitleyi Fowler 1931, Whitley's Boxfish. Central to western Pacific. Males found more westward only. To six inches total length. At right is a female (and male!) in Hawaiian waters, where males are exceedingly rare. 

Ecotype: Reef bottoms when small, open sand and grass beds as adults.

Family Tetraodontidae- puffers that blow up, smooth or with small prickles. The real puffers of Hawai'i fall into two categories; big boys that consume most everything, and the delightful Sharpnose puffers that just peck bits out of everything.

The Stripebelly Puffer, Arothron hispidus (2) is only occasionally imported, not being a great beauty.

Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus 1758), the White-Spotted Puffer. Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, east African coast, tropical east Pacific coast. To twenty inches in length in the wild. Cute when small, and very hardy... just big eaters and mess makers. Here are pictured a four inch juvenile in captivity, a one foot specimen in the Red Sea, and a fifteen inch mottled or "koi" one in the Seychelles.

A few color variations exist for the Guinea Fowl or Spotted Puffer, A. meleagris (1). All black with white dots, all or mostly golden to white or a mottling or combination of two or all three. All survive about the same, but grow to more than a foot, and "sample" all tankmates they can get their prodigious biting beaks on.

Arothron meleagris (Lacepede 1798), the Guinea Fowl Puffer. This is a "standard" offering in the pet fish trade, in black and white, golden and mottled color morphs. Found throughout the tropical Indo-Pacific. Below are images of a "normal" individual in Hawai'i,  a xanthic "gold" one in captivity, and a mottled "koi" one in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. To twenty inches long in the wild.

Ecotype: Shallows. Rubble, sand, sea grass beds with sand to dig in.

Subfamily Canthigastrinae. The Sharpnose Puffers or Tobies (1).

Canthigaster amboinensis, the Ambon Toby, C. coronata, the Crown Toby, C. epilampra, the Lantern Toby, and C. jactator, the Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby, (all 1's) have much in common. They stay small, hide much of the time, and eat most any meaty foodstuff.

A species regularly offered is the Ambon Sharpnose Canthigaster amboinensis (Bleeker 1865). I also like the science of ichthyology's name for this species, "Spider-Eye Puffer" for obvious reasons. Tropical eastern Pacific and Indo-Pacific. To six inches long in the wild. Here's one in captivity, another in Hawai'i..

Canthigaster coronata (Vaillant & Sauvage 1875), the Crowned Puffer. Another regular offering from this genus/subfamily. Indo-west Pacific, Red Sea out to Hawai'i. To five inches in the wild. This image made off of Kona, Hawai'i's Big Island.  

Canthigaster epilampra (Jenkins 1903), the Lantern Goby. Indo-Pacific. To five inches in length. This one off of Hawai'i's Big Island. 

Canthigaster jactator (Jenkins 1901), Hawaiian Sharpnose Puffer. Hawaiian endemic. To three inches in length. This one in the 50th State's waters.

Torquigener florealis (Cope 1871), Western Central Pacific: Hawaii to Japan and the East China Sea. To seven inches in length. This image made in Shark's Cove, Oahu, Hawai'i.

Ecotype: Reefs, rocky areas and grass beds.

Family Diodontidae- puffers that blow up and have large spines that are either fixed or become erect when the fish engulfs water.

Two of the moveable spine diodontids occasionally are caught for the trade from here. Both are circumtropical, and so these puffers are often less money from elsewhere.. The Spiny Balloonfish, Diodon holocanthus (1) can grow to more than a foot, but this is small compared with the Porcupinefish, D. hystrix (2), at more than twice that. Both species are fine for fish-only systems when small.

Diodon holacanthus Linnaeus 1758, the Long-Spined Porcupinefish. Circumtropical in distribution. To some eighteen inches in length in the wild. Can be told apart from the similar D. liturosus by its longest spines being on top of its head. A comical, hardy addition to a fish-only rough and tumble marine system. Aquarium and St. Lucia (Caribbean) images.

Diodon hystrix Linnaeus 1758, the Spotted Burrfish. Circumtropical in distribution. To some three feet in length in the wild (not a misprint). Here are photos of specimens in Hawai'i and the Maldives.

Ecotype: Reefs, rocky areas and grass beds.

Going/Getting There:

The main international airport on Oahu is where most folks fly into, though there are direct flights from major cities in the U.S. to the Big Island and Maui during the high season. "Hops" (shorter flights) run continuously during the days and nights between all the other islands. All that's available and its related costs can easily be searched and reserved through the Internet and your Travel Services provider.

There are a myriad of plan possibilities, from dive live-aboards, simple to luxurious hotels, and term accommodations. For the cost-conscious, Hawai'i is hard to beat as a distant destination. With so many species of aquarium use, and places to dive, for fishwatchers and aquarists there are no better deals I know of.

Special Thanks to ichthyologist, diver/photographer, and general all-around good guy Dr. John Randall of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, Oahu for generously lending images and correcting numerous errors and name changes.

Bibliography/Further Reading:


Allen, Gerald R., Steene, Roger and Mark Allen. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publ. Calif. 250pp.

Fenner, Robert M. 1998. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, A Commonsense Handbook for the Successful Saltwater Aquarist. Microcosm, VT. 432pp.

Fowler, Henry W. 1967 (authorized reprint). The Fishes of Oceania. Memoirs of the Bernice P. Bishop Museum Volume X. Honolulu, HI (orig. 1928). Johnson Reprint 

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Reef Fishes, v. 1. Microcosm, VT. 624pp.

Randall, John E. 1996. Shore Fishes of Hawai'i. Natural World Press, OR. 216pp.

Tinker, Spencer Wilkie. 1978. Fishes of Hawaii; A Handbook of the Marine Fishes of Hawaii and the Central Pacific Ocean. Hawaiian Service, Inc. HI. 532pp.

Titcomb, Margaret. 1972. Native Use of Fish in Hawaii. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu. 175pp.

By Family/Group:

Sharks: Subclass Elasmobranchii

Fenner, Robert . 1996. Shark attack. TFH 5/96.

Hargrove, Maddy. 1998. Sharks; the ultimate challenge. TFH 6/98.

Michael, Scott W. 1986. Sharks for your saltwater tank. FAMA 10/86.

Stevens, Jane E. 1995. The delicate art of shark keeping. Sea Frontiers, Spr. 95.

Eels: Morays and More

Esterbauer, Hans. 1994. The ecology and behavior of moray eels. TFH 2/94.

Fenner, Robert. 1995. Morays; the family Muraenidae. TFH 3/95.

Gonzalez, Deane. 1976. Puhi. Marine Aquarist 7:7, 76.

Michael, Scott. 1996. The morays- serpents of the sea, & Would you believe it- more

morays. AFM 7,8/96.

Stratton, Richard F. 1997. The zebra moray. TFH 3/97.

Anglerfishes, Antennariidae

Michael, Scott A. 1995. Frogfishes: anglers of the reef & The frogfishes: species in the

marine trade. AFM 11,12/95.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Reef Fishes, v. 1. Microcosm, VT. 624pp.

Pietsch, Theodore W. & David B. Grobecker. 1985. Frogfishes: aggressive mimics of the

reef. FAMA 4/85.

Trumpets, Aulostomidae

Krechmer, Michael. 1993. Trumpetfishes: aquarium oddities. TFH 3/93.

Stratton, Richard F. 1994. Trumpetfishes: definitely different. TFH 12/94.

Squirrelfishes and Soldierfishes, family Holocentridae:

Fenner, Robert. 1996. An introduction to squirrelfishes. TFH 6/96.

Michael, Scott W. The soldierfishes; fishes of the night. AFM 11/97.

Michael, Scott W. The squirrelfishes; can you say "red"? AFM 12/97.

Scorpionfishes, Rockfishes:

Fenner, Robert 1997. Lionfishes; hear them roar. TFH 5/97.

Fleetham, David. 1995. Hawaiian scorpionfish. Discover Diving October, 95.

Michael, Scott W. 1996. Scorpionfishes- ambushers of the reef. AFM 5/96.

Michael, Scott W. 1996. Scorpionfishes- many to choose from. AFM 6/96.

Parker, Nancy J. 1977. Hawaiian lion. Marine Aquarist 7:8, 77.

Basses & Their Relatives:

Fenner, Bob. 1995. A diversity of aquatic life: The family Serranidae. FAMA 5/95.

Fenner, Robert. 1996. Basses, groupers or hinds, the genus Cephalopholis. TFH 12/96.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Gorgeous groupers; one genus really does stand out

(Cephalopholis). AFM 1/98.

Randall, J.E. & L. Taylor. 1988. Review of the Indo-Pacific fishes of the serranid genus

Liopropoma, with descriptions of seven new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes, no. 13.



Fenner, Bob & Cindi Camp. 1990. Diversity of aquatic life: the hawkfishes, Cirrhitidae.

FAMA 4/90.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Hawkfishes; small, aggressive predators of the coral reef. AFM


Randall, John E. 1981. Longnose hawkfish, Oxycirrhites typus. FAMA 8/81.

Takeshita, Glenn Y. 1975. Long-snouted hawkfish. Marine Aquarist 6:6,75.


Michael, Scott W. 1997. The goatfishes; put a goat in your tank! AFM 1/97.

Butterflyfishes and Angelfishes

Allen, Gerald R., Roger Steene & Mark Allen. 1998. A Guide To Angelfishes &

Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research, Aust. 250pp.

Fenner, Bob. 1995. My favorite dwarf angelfish- Centropyge loricula. FAMA 10/95.

Fenner, Robert. 1996. Butterflyfishes you don't want. TFH 9/96.

Fenner, Robert. 1998. Perfect little angels. TFH 4/98.

Hoover, John. 1995. Hawaii's butterflyfishes, pts. 1,2. FAMA 11,12/95.

Michael, Scott. 1994. Bad butterflies; there are lots of problems when keeping many species

of butterflyfish. AFM 7/94.

Michael, Scott W. 1996. Pygmy angelfishes; diminutive, but beautiful. AFM 1/96.

Michael, Scott W. 1997. Tinker the butterfly. AFM 1/97.

Michael, Scott W. 1997. Holacanthus angelfish; their behavior isn't very angelic. AFM


Miklosz, John C. 1976. Hawaiian butterflies. Marine Aquarist 7:2, 76.

Moenich, David R. 1988. Pygmy angelfishes: The genus Centropyge. TFH 1/88.

Refano, Joseph. 1985. Butterflies from Hawaii. FAMA 7/85.

Stratton, Richard F. 1990. The teardrop butterflyfish; one of the tougher butterflyfishes in

the hobby is Chaetodon unimaculatus. TFH 6/90.


Allen, Gerald R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. MERGUS, Germany. 271pp.

Fenner, Robert. 1997. Dascyllus: damsels definitely not in distress. TFH 1/97.


Fenner, Robert, 1995. The conscientious marine aquariust; with notes on cleaner wrasses. TFH 5/95.

Fenner, Robert. 1996. The wrasses we call hogfishes. TFH 10/96.

Fenner, Robert. 1997. The razorfish, family Labridae. SeaScope v.14, Fall 97.

Michael, Scott W. 1990. An aquarist's guide to the wrasses of the genus Pseudocheilinus. FAMA 9/90.

Michael, Scott W., 1992. A guide to the leopard wrasses (Genus Macropharyngodon). SeaScope v. 9, Spr. 92.

Michael, Scott W. 1997. Beautiful wrasses; the unique species of the genus Halichoeres. AFM 3/97.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Wrasses; the good, the bad and lovely. AFM 6/98.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Coris wrasses; Hardy, but not for reef tanks. AFM 7/98.

Privitera, Lisa A. 1992. The Hawaiian flame wrasse Cirrhilabrus jordani Snyder, FAMA 9/92.

Scheimer, Gregory. 1997. Wrasses for the reef aquarium, pts 1,2. FAMA 11,12/97.

Stratton, Richard F. 1989. The red wrasse: Coris gaimard. TFH 11/89.

Stratton, Richard F. 1990. The Hawaiian saddle wrasse. TFH 6/90.

Stratton, Richard F. 1991. The sunset wrasse. TFH 6/91.


Burgess, Warren E. 1981-82. Parrots of the sea. Pts I,II. TFH 12/81, 1/82.

Fenner, Robert. 1996. Parrotfish pitfalls. TFH 1/96.

Spies, Gunther. 1990. Sand factories- the parrotfishes. TFH 4/90.


Burgess, Warren E. 1977. The chevron tang. TFH 3/77.

Fenner, Robert. 1996. Will the real powder brown tang please swim up? TFH 3/96.

Fenner, Robert. 1997. Unicorn tangs, genus Naso, Family Acanthuridae. SeaScope v. 14, Spring 97.

Lobel, Phillip S. 1984. The Hawaiian chevron tang Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis. FAMA 3/84.

Michael, Scott W. 1995. Tangs of the genus Zebrasoma. AFM 4/95 and SeaScope Fall 92.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. Surgeonfishes; meet their strict care requirements, or else... AFM 9/98.

Michael, Scott W. 1998. The Surgeonfishes; getting to the point- the species. AFM 10/98.

Stratton, Richard F. 1989. The Achilles tang. TFH 1/89.

The Moorish Idol

Smith, Stephen J. 1998. A risky proposition- Moorish idol. TFH 5/98.

Stratton, Richard F. 1992. The Moorish idol. TFH 10/92.


Flood, Andrew Colin. 1997. The trouble with triggers. 2/97.

Michael, Scott W. 1997. Triggerfishes; a great reason for having a saltwater tank. AFM 2/97.

Pemberton, Jennifer Anne. 1993. The Tetraodontiformes: a little-understood group. TFH 4/93.

Stratton, Richard F. 1989. The masked triggerfish, Rhinecanthus rectangulus. TFH 12/89.

Stratton, Richard F. 1991. The white-lined trigger. TFH 5/91.

Stratton, Richard F. 1993. Another look at the Picasso triggerfish. TFH 3/93.

Stratton, Richard F. 1995. The triggerfish mystique. TFH 11/95.


Fenner, Bob 1995. A diversity of aquatic life: filefishes, the Monacanthidae. FAMA 7/95.

Quinn, John R. 1990. Fooling around with filefish. TFH 10/90.


Fong, Jack. 1994. The ten most amusing boxfishes. TFH 9/94.

Lobel, Phillip S. 1985. Spawning behavior of the spotted trunkfish Ostracion meleagris. FAMA 8/85.

Michael, Scott W. 1995. Get to know the tobies (sharpnose puffers). AFM 10/95.

Michael, Scott W. 1997. The puffers; unique in many ways. AFM 8/97.

Michael, Scott. 1998. Swimming boxes; boxfish are interesting to keep, but choose their tankmates carefully to avoid disaster. AFM 3/98.

Pyle, Richard L. 1989. Whitley's boxfish, Ostracion whitleyi Fowler. FAMA 7/89.

Quinn, John R. 1986. Puffers and friends; a look at the pros and cons of keeping the popular puffers. TFH 5/86.

Part 5 of 5, To: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4,

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: