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Regal Tang - Coral Sea

03634

Tangs
Regal Tang - Coral Sea
Paracanthurus hepatus
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Care: 
Beginner
Diet: 
Algivorous
Light: 
Medium
Place of origin: 
Melanesia
Widespread Indo-West Pacific, but west Indian Ocean population considerably different. Coastal to outer reef flats subject to currents and surge, often very shallow and usually in depths of less than 10m. Juveniles secretive in Acropora thickets, swiming just above to feed on plankton. Large adults swim about openly and graze algae, sometimes forming schools to feed on plankton. Length reported to 26cm, but usually to 20cm in the West Pacific.
The common name "surgeonfish" is derived from a characteristic that clearly distinguishes Acanthuridae from other fish families: the spines or "scalpels" on the caudal peduncle, one or more on each side. Based primarily on differences in this characteristic, the family can be divided into three subfamilies: The Acanthurinae, in which the peduncular spineĀ  rests in a groove and can be erected in defence during the fights, the Nasinae and Prionurinae in which the peduncular feature is arranged as one or more fixed blades on each side, that are sharp and elongate with age.

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