This bright yellow species is characterized by a long snout and large dorsal fin. Found in coral-rich tropical waters from Japan to Hawaii in the Pacific, and off the coast of Florida in the Atlantic, this fish plays a crucial role in coral reef ecosystems. Yellow tang feed on algae and macroalgae, preventing algae from overtaking corals.
  • Size

    7.9 inches (20 cm)
  • Diet

    Algae
  • Range

    Pacific from Japan to Hawaii and coat of Florida
  • Habitat

    Coral-rich tropical waters

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Maximum length of 7.9 inches (20 cm).

Body Composition

  • Characterized by long snout and large dorsal fin.

Color

  • Coloration is a bright yellow, though at night changes to a darker and more subdued yellow with a visible white lateral line.

 

Animal Fact

At night the yellow tang's bright yellow coloration changes to a darker and more subdued yellow with a visible white lateral line

Diet / Feeding

Diet

  • Diet consists primarily of algae. Also feeds on macroalgae such as seaweed and occasionally eats types of zooplankton.

Feeding

  • Plays a crucial role in coral reef ecosystems by preventing algae from overtaking corals.

Range / Habitat

Range

  • Occurs in the Pacific from Japan to Hawaii. Also seen off the coast of Florida in the Western Atlantic.

Habitat

  • Found in coral-rich tropical waters at depths of about 1-266 (1-81 m).

Reproduction & Growth

Reproduction

  • Spawns around the full moon in batches throughout the year, though mostly from March to September.
  • Female releases about 40,000 eggs.

Growth

  • Clear larvae are planktonic, eventually making way to coral reefs and crevices.

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.

Sources

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