1 minute read

Surgeonfishes and Relatives: Acanthuroidei

Yellow Tang (zebrasoma Flavescens): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Yellow tangs have a disk-like body that is narrow from side to side. The forehead curves in rather than out, and the snout is long. The dorsal fin sticks up high and has four to five spines. The anal fin has three spines. The body is bright yellow. Yellow tangs grow to a length of more than 8 inches (20 centimeters).

Geographic range: Yellow tangs live in the Pacific Ocean.

Habitat: Yellow tangs live in coral and rocky reefs and in bays and lagoons.

Diet: Yellow tangs eat algae.

Behavior and reproduction: Yellow tangs live in small groups or alone. The groups often move from point to point to browse on algae. These fish sometimes live in mixed-species schools. Single males may defend territories, court passing females, and spawn with them in open water. Yellow tangs also sometimes spawn in groups. Eggs and larvae float in open water.

Yellow tangs and people: Yellow tangs are used in aquariums.

Conservation status: Yellow tangs are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Yellow tangs sometimes live in mixed-species schools. (©Andrew G. Wood/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesSurgeonfishes and Relatives: Acanthuroidei - Behavior And Reproduction, Surgeonfishes And Their Relatives And People, Lined Surgeonfish (acanthurus Lineatus): Species Accounts - PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATU