From Nookipedia, the Animal Crossing wiki

Surgeonfish NH Icon.png Surgeonfish  
Artwork of surgeonfish
Real-world info
Name: Paracanthurus hepatus
(palette surgeonfish)

Family: Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes and tangs)
Main appearances

Other appearances
Names in other languages
 Poisson chirurgien
 Pez cirujano
 Pesce chirurgo
 Флаговый хирург
 Pez cirujano

The surgeonfish is an uncommon fish found in the sea all day between the months of April and September. It can be found in Animal Crossing: City Folk, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. It is worth 1,000 Bells. It has a small shadow size, the same size as a horse mackerel.

Catch details[edit]

In City Folk[edit]


"I caught a surgeonfish! It's cobalt blue and beautiful!"

Description Usually found around reefs, these will hide if startled.
Time of year Apr – Sep
Time of day All day
Peak times N/A
Location Sea
Shadow size Small
Fish size About 12.4 in.
Selling price  1,000 Bells
Furniture size 1.0 x 1.0

In New Leaf[edit]


"I caught a surgeonfish! It was a simple operation, though!"

Time of year Apr – Sep
All year (Tortimer Island)
Time of day All day
Peak times N/A
Location Sea
Tortimer Island
Shadow size Small
Fish size 31 cm
Selling price  1,000 Bells
Furniture size 1.0 x 1.0

In Pocket Camp[edit]



Event availability Fishing Tourney #1
Location Saltwater Shores
Shadow size Small
Fish size 25.9 cm - 36.1 cm
Rarity ★★★
Catch rate Cannot be caught at this time
Selling price  1,500 Bells
Request reward  1,500 Bells, 3 Heart PC Icon.png Friendship Points
Fortune Cookie (20%), Bronze Treats (30%)

In New Horizons[edit]


"I caught a surgeonfish! Scalpel! Forceps! Fish hook!"

Time of year North: Apr – Sep
South: Oct – Mar
Time of day All day
Location Sea
Shadow size Small
Rarity Uncommon
Spawn requirement Appears from the start of the game
Selling prices  Nook's Cranny 1,000 Bells
 C.J. 1,500 Bells
Furniture size 1.0 x 1.0

Donating to the museum[edit]

In City Folk[edit]

"For future reference, I recommend you remember surgeonfish and coral as a set, wot wot? These bright fish have blue bodies and yellow tail fins, and they make their home in the southern seas. ...And what delightful, easygoing expressions they wear! I feel relaxed just looking at them!"

The fish can be found in the bottom-right tank in the aquarium, with the clownfish and butterflyfish, which are other types of tropical fish.

In New Leaf[edit]

"These tropical fish sport beautiful, yellow, triangular tails and elegant black lines on dazzling blue bodies. Personalitywise, the surgeonfish is actually rather laid back and timid. They seek out gaps in coral or between rocks for the greatest amount of protection while sleeping."

In New Horizons[edit]

When donating to Blathers or selecting "Tell me about this!" in New Horizons, he will provide the following information about the fish:

"Hoo! Careful, now! These fish are particularly dangerous, despite their seemingly docile appearance. With its saturated blue and yellow tones, the surgeonfish is quite breathtaking. It's got to keep up with all the other vibrant fish that live in the coral too, I wager. Quite the competition! Its spine is sharp as a blade, so care must be taken when handling these beauties..."

Fishing Tourney[edit]

During a Fishing Tourney, when given a surgeonfish, Chip will say the following dialogue.

In City Folk[edit]

"Can't say for sure, but I bet surgeonfish tacos with lime and cilantro would rule. Nyuuuk nyuk nyuk nyuk!"

In New Leaf[edit]

"Surgeonfish, right? It's got a real distinct stench to it, all stinky and so on. Assaults the nostrils! I-I mean...I'm still gonna eat it. Of course I am! YUM!"


Real-world information[edit]

A real-life surgeonfish.

Surgeonfish are members of the family Acanthuridae and are named for scalpel-like modified fins on the peduncle (base of the tail). The species shown ingame is Paracanthurus hepatus, also known as the regal tang, palette surgeonfish, blue tang (not to be confused with the Atlantic Acanthurus coeruleus variety), royal blue tang, hippo tang, flagtail surgeonfish, pacific regal blue tang and blue surgeonfish. It is a tropical fish that lives in areas such as Japan, East Africa, Samoa, New Caledonia, and even the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.

They change color when spawning, from a deep blue to a pale blue. The eggs hatch within 24 hours of fertilization, revealing small larvae with silvery abdomen. They are inedible to humans, with a foul smelling flesh and taste, and are poisonous. They can, however, be used as a type of bait. It can easily protect itself using spines located near its tail, which extend when the fish is excited or threatened. It will slash sideways towards a predator and can cause deep wounds allowing venom to seep in, which can cause infections.

More information on this topic is available at Wikipedia.

Names in other languages[edit]

Japanese ナンヨウハギ
Paracanthurus (lit. "southern ocean scalpel")

Korean 블루탱
Paracanthurus/Blue tang

Simplified Chinese 拟刺尾鲷
nǐ cìwěidiāo
Paracanthurus (literal translation of genus name, "like Acanthurus")

Traditional Chinese 擬刺尾鯛

Russian Флаговый хирург
Flagovyy khirurg
Paracanthurus/Regal tang

Dutch Doktersvis Surgeonfish

German Paletten-Doktorfisch Paracanthurus/Pallet surgeonfish

European Spanish Pez cirujano Same as in English.

European French Poisson chirurgien Surgeon fish

Italian Pesce chirurgo Surgeonfish