Meet our November Fish of the Month, the Palette Surgeonfish, Paracanthurus hepatus!

Survey Regions: Palette Surgeonfish are found throughout the tropical Pacific and the Indian Ocean, in REEF's Central Indo-Pacific (CIP), South Pacific (SOP), and Indian Ocean & Red Sea (IORS) survey regions. Click the links to view sightings reports for this species in each region: CIP, SOP, and IORS.

Size: They grow to about 10 inches long.

Identifying Features: Palette Surgeonfish have a brilliant blue head and body, with a black hook-shaped marking starting from the eye and curving along the body, and a yellow tail with black borders.

Fun Facts: Palette Surgeonfish can be shy and secretive, and will wedge themselves among the branches of staghorn corals when they are alarmed. They can be solitary or in small groups, and can often be seen swimming above coral heads on current-swept reefs. The character Dory in Disney's Finding Nemo movies is a Palette Surgeonfish, making this species well-known among both fish surveyors and the public.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.

Photo by Florent Charpin.