Juvenile Blue Tang Click to enlarge image
Juvenile Blue Tang schooling at a depth of 10 m, south-east Horn, Osprey Reef, Coral Sea, November 1998. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    hepatus
    Genus
    Paracanthurus
    Family
    Acanthuridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grow to 31 cm in length.

Introduction

The Blue Tang is easily recognised by its blue body with black markings. P.hepatus is the only species in the genus Paracanthurus.



Identification

The Blue Tang is a surgeonfish (family Acanthuridae) that is easily recognised by its blue body with black markings. The caudal fin is yellow with a black stripe along both the upper and lower margins.The species has a blade on both sides of the caudal peduncle and venomous fin spines.

Distribution

The Blue Tang occurs widely throughout the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia, the species occurs on nearly the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.



Feeding and diet

The species feed on zooplankton.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.