Monday, May 11, 2015

Achilles Tang

Achilles Tang
Watercolor, Pen and Ink on Arches 140lb. Hot Press
Matted in a 5 x 7'' Ivory Matt

Acanthurus achilles

This is a species of surgeonfish that is named after Achilles, the Greek demigod of Homer’s Iliad.  Where Achilles had a weakness in his heel, the Achilles Tang, on the other hand, has a razor-sharp scalpel at the base of its tail.  The Hawaiian name for this fish is Paku’iku’i, refering to the method for catching the fish, which involves splashing or beating the water to scare the fish into nets.  Hawaiians used this fish for food and used its scalpel to make fishing lures.  The Achilles Tang measures up to 10 inches (25 cm) long and feeds on algae.  

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