Habitat

All but the louvar, which is pelagic, inhabit shallow coral and rocky reefs, although some species inhabit estuaries or even freshwater habitats. Spadefishes and batfishes favor marine coral and rocky reefs as well as brackish water habitats that include mangroves, sea grasses, or sand and rubble flats. The scats have the greatest flexibility, moving from coral and rocky reefs into brackish water estuaries and freshwater streams. Rabbitfishes also are found on coral (some exclu-

blue tang (Acanthurus leucosternon). (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey)

sively) or rocky reefs, on algal or sea grass beds, or around mangroves, but some enter brackish waters. Louvars move up and down in the pelagic water column. The Moorish idol is found on coral or rocky reefs, as are the surgeonfishes, although the latter also may occur on sea grass and algae beds and around mangroves.

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