Red Sea sailfin tang

Red Sea sailfin tang
Red Sea sailfin tang
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Acanthuridae
Genus: Zebrasoma
Species: Z. desjardinii
Binomial name
Zebrasoma desjardinii
(Bennett, 1836)

The Red Sea sailfin tang or Desjardin's sailfin tang (Zebrasoma desjardinii) is a marine reef tang in the fish family Acanthuridae. They originate in the lagoons and reefs of the Indian Ocean from the southern Red Sea to KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa and as far east as India and Java. They may live at water depths of 2 - 30 m (6.5 - 100 ft) or more. The fish grow to a maximum length of 40 cm (16 in).

Red Sea sailfin tangs natively live in a tropical climate and prefer saltwater with a specific gravity of 1.020 - 1.025, a pH between 8.1 and 8.4 and an ideal temperature range of 22 - 26 C (72 - 78 F).

The fish are pair spawners, a typical trait of other fish in the Zebrasoma genus. This differs from the group spawning typical of the Acanthuridae family. The juvenile fish live in the inner reef areas.

As a juvenile, the Red Sea Sailfin tang is almost indistinguishable from its Sailfin cousin, Zebrasoma veliferum. But as the Red Sea sailfin tang ages, it begins to develop white spots on the head, orange spots on the sailfins, and vertical orange stripes on the body. In addition to this, its tail changes from being translucent to black and blue with white spots.

Zebrasoma desjardinii


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