- Yellow Tang / Zebrasoma flavescens
Conservation Status: Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Species: Z. flavescens
Binomial name: Zebrasoma flavescens
The yellow tang was first described by English naturalist Edward Turner Bennett as Acanthurus flavescens in 1828 from a collection in the Hawaiian Islands. Its species name is the Latin adjective flavescens "yellow".
Yellow tang are in the surgeonfish family.
Adult fish can grow to 20 centimetres (7.9 in) in length, and 1?2 centimetres (0.39?0.79 in) in thickness. Adult males tend to be larger than females. Yellow tang are bright yellow in color. At night, the yellow coloring fades slightly, and a prominent brownish patch develops in the middle with a horizontal white band. They rapidly resume their bright yellow color during daylight.
In the wild, yellow tang feed on benthic turf algae and other marine plant material. Yellow tang provide cleaner services to marine turtles, by removing algal growth from their shells.
It is commonly found in shallow reefs, from 2?46 metres (6.6?150.9 ft) deep, in the Pacific Ocean, west of Hawaii and east of Japan. Hawaii is the most common place for aquarium harvesting, where up to 70% of the yellow tangs for the aquarium industry are sourced from.
The yellow tang has been recorded in waters around Florida, where it is not native.
The yellow tang is very commonly kept as a saltwater aquarium fish. In 2015, researchers successfully bred them in captivity. They can grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) in the wild, but are introduced to aquariums in the 2" to 4" range. Some specimens as large as 6" are occasionally available. Life expectancy in the wild can exceed 30 years.
1 year ago