Sample species description from Hanauma Bay, a Marine Life Guide

Acanthurus triostegus
       Possibly the most abundant fish in the bay, Convict Tangs are light greenish or yellowish white with six black bars (the convict's stripes). They feed on algae and often browse the reef in large dense schools thereby overwhelming the defenses of aggressive, territorial herbivores such as Achilles Tangs, Brown Surgeonfish, and Pacific Gregories. At Hanauma Bay, feeding schools often form both inside and outside the reef. These fish also browse singly or in small groups. Juveniles occur in tide pools and inlets, even where the water is brackish. Only in Hawai`i does this species have the narrow, oblique bar under the pectoral fin. For this reason the Hawaiian population is given the subspecies name sandvicensis. Although manini were a favored food fish in old Hawai`i, the popular name has come to mean undersized or stingy. To 10 in. Indo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific. Photo: Reef Face (Zone Two).

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Text and photos copyright by John P. Hoover