Surgeonfish derive their name from the blades like scalpels at the base of their tail.
In case of danger, they raise those blades to wound their assailants. Like other surgeonfish, this species reproduces in couples according to the lunar cycle. The reproductive cells are released at the water’s surface. After the eggs hatch, the larvae lead a pelagic life (in the open water) for about 4 weeks before settling on coral or dense sea grass.
All surgeonfish are herbivores. They regularly take in coral sand, which they use to grind the algae they eat to make them more easily digestible.