Yellow Tang

Yellow Tang Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Zebrasoma flavescens
Yellow Tang Physical Characteristics
Up to 30 years in the wild
Yellow Tang Distribition

You might be conversant in the favored Blue Tang due to the beloved Dory character in Discovering Nemo, however do you know that Dori has a yellow relative? The Yellow Tang, identified by its scientific title Zebrasoma flavescens, is a brilliant yellow colour with the signature form of a tang. It lives in reefs and is prized by many for its brilliant coloring in common aquariums.

Yellow Tang information

  • Yellow Tang eat algae.
  • The vast majority of these fish reside close to Hawaii.
  • They’ll reside as much as 30 years within the wild.
  • They’ve a pointy backbone close to their tail for protection.
  • These fish typically reproduce in the course of the full moon.

Yellow Tang Classification and Scientific title

The Zebrasoma flavescens is the scientific title of the Yellow Tang. This can be a particular species of reef-dwelling fish that’s a part of the Zebrasoma genus. There are seven different species inside this genus of surgeonfishes, all with equally formed our bodies and fins. All of them fluctuate in colour from wealthy purple and yellow, the Zebrasoma xanthurum, to the noticed Zebrasoma gemmatum.

This fishh belongs to the Acanthuridae household. Different fish on this household are fellow surgeonfishes, unicorn fish, and tangs. A lot of them reside on reefs, just like the Yellow Tang. They make nice aquarium fish as a result of they’re brightly coloured and have a particular physique form. They’re within the Acanthuriformes order and Actinopterygii class. Fish within the class are ray-finned fish and account for nearly all fish in existence. They’re members of the Chordata phylum and Animalia kingdom.

Yellow Tang Appearance

As its title suggests, the Yellow Tang is brilliant yellow. They’re as much as 8 inches lengthy however lower than 1 inch thick. They’ve a outstanding fin on prime and one other on the underside. Their snout is rounded and so they have fairly a couple of tooth. Adults have 18 higher tooth and 22 decrease tooth. They develop these by means of their lengthy lifetime however are born with some tooth as properly. The males are sometimes bigger than the females however neither are very huge. They make nice aquarium fish and might slot in at-house aquariums designed for saltwater fish.

Amazingly, their coloring adjustments at night time. They develop a brown spot close to the center of their physique. It has a white band throughout it. Throughout the day, the brown and white patch disappears and their brilliant, highlighter-yellow colour returns. In addition they have a white backbone close to their tail that can be utilized for protection. It’s sharp and stays all through their lifetime.

yellow tang
Within the night time-time hours, the yellow tang develops a brown spot close to the center of its physique in addition to a white band. Each of those disappear in the course of the day-time hours.mexrix/

Yellow Tang Distribution, Inhabitants, and Habitat

Yellow Tang are reef fish. They reside in and amongst reefs in saltwater, and so they discover their meals in these areas in addition to mix into the brightly coloured atmosphere. They have a tendency to desire shallow reefs, typically staying round 100 ft deep. These fish like hotter waters and might typically be present in tropical waters, akin to Hawaii and Florida.

They’re native to elements of the Pacific Ocean, though they’ve been discovered within the wild within the Atlantic as properly. Round 70% of Yellow Tang reside close to the Hawaiian islands. They can be discovered within the Ryukyu, Mariana, Marshall, Marcus, and Wake islands, in addition to close to Japan. Hawaii continues to be the commonest place to see Yellow Tang, nonetheless, and the place the place the vast majority of Yellow Tang are collected to be used in aquariums.

They don’t seem to be thought-about endangered and categorized as Least Concern by the Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature. The IUCN notes that almost all of this fish inhabitants is positioned round Hawaii and that their numbers are a lot decrease elsewhere. They’re among the hottest aquarium fish, particularly these from Hawaii.

Predators and Prey

Of their pure habitat, Yellow Tang are susceptible to predator fish that additionally reside close to the reef. These embody sharks, crabs, and octopus. Bigger carnivorous fish may also make a tasty meal out of a Yellow Tang. Their altering habitat may also trigger issues, particularly once they can’t discover sufficient algae to eat or secure locations to breed and reside.

Lots of the areas the place Yellow Tang reside are shielded from fishing and catching however that doesn’t imply that their habitat isn’t threatened. Even snorkeling may end up in injury to the reef the place they reside. That’s why it’s so necessary to be aware to depart the pure habitat undisturbed and secure. Whereas unlawful, coral harvesting does happen and has a profound adverse impression on the reef and the Yellow Tang.

Yellow Tang are herbivores and solely eat vegetation. They like algae that grows on the underside of the ocean ground and the deepest elements of the reef. In addition they eat the algae off the shells of sea turtles as a part of a symbiotic relationship. In captivity, they’re normally fed a fish flake that features meat or fish merchandise. This may trigger well being points so some folks desire to feed their Yellow Tang issues like seaweed, nori, or algae that you just develop and domesticate within the aquarium.

Reproduction and Lifespan

Yellow Tang reproduce externally. They lay their eggs by scattering them within the water. As soon as they’re fertilized, the eggs develop and hatch into new Yellow Tang. They don’t keep close to their eggs or watch over their younger. Juvenile Yellow Tang are left to fend for themselves within the wild. These fish typically reside individually however typically keep in small teams collectively.

Some of the fascinating elements concerning the Yellow Tang’s copy is that they have a tendency to spawn on the full moon. They’ll lay as much as 40,000 eggs throughout one cycle. Whereas not all of those might be fertilized or develop to maturity, there are nonetheless numerous child Yellow Tangs which might be born every time.

Yellow Tang in Fishing and Cooking

The vast majority of Yellow Tang assortment happens to get fish to be used in aquariums. They don’t seem to be toxic like another tang fish however aren’t nice to eat both. As an alternative, many individuals who fish for and catch Yellow Tang achieve this to maintain them alive and wholesome to enter aquariums.

The larger query that plagues aquarium homeowners is easy methods to get Yellow Tang to eat. Within the wild, they feed on algae on the reef. It may be tough to copy these actual circumstances however different plant-primarily based diets are nice for yellow tang. Seaweed is a well-liked meals merchandise which you can put into your aquarium.


In line with the IUCN, an estimated 1,621,053 Yellow Tang had been collected over a span of 5 years. The vast majority of them reside across the Hawaiian islands, which makes it one of the crucial common locations to gather them for aquariums. Fish Replenishment Areas had been established to make sure that the inhabitants within the wild might sustain with demand with out endangering the survival of the species. After this, the inhabitants of grownup Yellow Tang really elevated. They continue to be categorized as Least Concern amongst species.

Round 350,000 of those fish are collected and utilized in aquariums annually, principally from across the island of Hawaii. Most of those are juveniles. This enables the grownup to stay within the wild and reproduce. As a result of they will reside for a very long time, as much as 30 years within the wild, one grownup will be capable to reproduce and create many generations of latest fish.

Related Fish to Yellow Tang

Blue Tang: The favored character Dory is a Blue Tang, or Paracanthurus hepatus. Their coloring is totally different than the Yellow Tang however they share many similarities, together with the truth that they’re each members of the Acanthuridae household.

Scopas Tang: Also called a Brown Tang, many aquarium lovers advocate this fish as a substitute for the Yellow model that could be a bit inexpensive and simpler to seek out. They’ve related weight-reduction plan wants, habitats, and behaviors.


  1. IUCN, Available here:
  2. Rosamund Gifford Zoo, Available here:
  3., Available here:
  4. Live Aquaria, Available here:

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