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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Indo-Pacific Reef Habitat (Tropical Diver)
  • Ocean Voyager

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. Also seen off the coast of Florida in the Western Atlantic.
  • Found in coral-rich tropical waters at depths of about 1-266 (1-81 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Coloration is a bright yellow, though at night changes to a darker and more subdued yellow with a visible white lateral line.
  • Characterized by long snout and large dorsal fin.
  • Maximum length of 7.9 inches (20 cm).

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists primarily of algae. Also feeds on macroalgae such as seaweed and occasionally eats types of zooplankton.
  • Plays a crucial role in coral reef ecosystems by preventing algae from overtaking corals.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Spawns around the full moon in batches throughout the year, though mostly from March to September.
  • Female releases about 40,000 eggs.
  • Clear larvae are planktonic, eventually making way to coral reefs and crevices.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Appears singly or in loose groups.
  • Juvenile can be territorial.
  • A diurnal species. Moves from place to place during the day. Rests alone at night in coral crevices.
  • Though coloration appears bright to humans, it is negligibly different from the color of coral at common depths.
  • Uses a scalpel-like fin defensively.