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Sailfin Tang
Sailfin Tang
Fish. Surgeonfish and tangs, like the sailfin tang, get their name from the very sharp scales at the base of their tails. When threatened, they can swim backwards at an enemy, raising these scales like a knife! Though they get along with other fish, they are known to be territorial with members of their own species. These fish, along with other herbivores, are important to keeping coral reefs healthy by preventing the overgrowth of algae. A sailfin tang can reach 40 cm (16 in) in length. Young sailfin tangs are found alone around corals and rocks in strong currents. Adults usually are found in pairs.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Zebrasoma desjardinii 12-15 years
Herbivore. Primarily macroalgae and seaweed. Although they are mainly herbivorous, sailfin tangs will eat brine shrimp. They spend most of their time grazing algae along the coral reef.
Predators and Threats
Manta rays, and reef sharks.
Coral and rock reefs; Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Red Sea.