While the blue tang has an incredibly wide range of habitats, including the reefs of the Philippines, Japan, Australia, Florida, and Africa, it’s not very common. Despite its rarity, this species is well-known around the world among marine enthusiasts, aquarium hobbyists, and people of all ages!
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aptinopterygii
Order - Perciformes
Family - Acanthuridae
Genus – Paracanthurus
Species – P. hepatus
Common Names – Blue Tang, Royal Blue Tang, Regal Tang, Palette Surgeonfish, Hippo Tang
The Blue Tang features a striking blue body and bright yellow tail, with a large black mark resembling a painter's palette.
The Blue Tang's eggs feature a tiny drop of oil to help them float. Once a Blue Tang's eggs are fertilized, they will hatch in 24 hours.
Blue Tangs live on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region, where they like to feed on plankton and graze on algae. They are not particularly common anywhere, but travel in pairs or small groups of individuals.
The blue tang goes by several different names, including blue barber, blue doctor, blue tang surgeonfish, yellow barber, and yellow doctorfish. Most of these names refer to the extremely sharp spines on the sides of the fish’s tail, which resemble surgeon’s scalpels and are used for self-defense when threatened.
Blue Tangs are a "Least Concern" species. They are a popular fish in home aquariums, but can be difficult to care for.