Yellowtail surgeonfish, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico | ©Dave C.

Prionurus punctatus (Perciformes - Acanthuridae) is a species of surgeonfish commonly known as Yellowtail Surgeonfish (english), or Cirujano Cochinito, Barbero or Cochinito (spanish).

This species is closely related to Prionurus laticlavious, and genetic and morphological studies are required to confirm the taxonomic status of these two species.

The Yellowtail Surgeonfish is native to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua

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It may look harmless enough, but the striped surgeonfish of the Indo-Pacific sports a venomous spine. Scientists estimate that 50,000 people are injured a year from contact with the world’s 1,200 species of venomous fish. The poisons are also being investigated for use in new drugs.