Acanthurus pyroferus or the Mimic Surgeonfish is one of the easiest surgeonfish of the Acanthurus species to care for. Though it might aggressive towards other surgeons it behaves peaceful towards other tank mates.
The name Mimicry Surgeonfish alludes to the fact that juveniles of this species mimic dwarf angelfish. Depending on the region they are born in, juveniles imitate dwarf angels as Centropyge eiblii, C. flavissimus, C. herald and C. vrolikii.
The mimicry is supposed to help the juvenile Mimic Surgeonfish to escape potential predators which have learnt that the dwarf angels are too quick and too smart for them.
Adult Acanthurus pyroferus all look the same.
In the marine ornamental fish trade the Mimic Surgeonfish is sometimes offered as Acanthurus chronixis which it is not (c.f. entry on Acanthurus chronixis-pyroferus)
Specimen sold under the name Acanthurus chronixis are mostly juvenile Acanthurus pyroferus imitating C. vrolikii.
Acanthurus armiger Valenciennes, 1834
Acanthurus celebicus Bleeker, 1853
Acanthurus fuscus Steindachner, 1861
Hepatus celebicus (Bleeker, 1853)
Hepatus pyriferus (Kittlitz, 1834)
Hepatus pyroferus (Kittlitz, 1834)
Rhombotides celebicus (Bleeker, 1853)
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Acanthuridae (Family) > Acanthurus (Genus) > Acanthurus pyroferus (Species)