TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii  (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, Tangs, Unicornfishes)

Genus/species   Zebrasoma scopas

Brown Scopas Tang

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Zebrasoma is a small genus of tangs characterized by round, laterally compressed bodies, large dorsal sail-like fins, and pointed snouts. Because of their snouts, they are able to eat filamentous algae that grow in spots other fishes cannot reach, a talent that also makes them popular in aquariums large and small. Males and females similar. Color can be variable; most often are shades of gray and brown with a greenish tinge running along the dorsal spine. The “scalpels,” which are used against rivals, are white (Gr. Acanthus means “thorn” or “spine”).

Length to 20 cm (8 in).

Brown Scopas Tang

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific from Africa to Japan in lagoons and outer reefs to 50 m (150 ft). Particularly well suited to large aquaria where they can roam.

DIET IN THE WILD: Z. scopas graze on algae, usually in groups of 20 individuals. Its numerous, small pharyngeal teeth may have evolved in response to a shift in diet from macroalgae to filamentous algae.

REPRODUCTION: Group and pair spawning have been observed scattering eggs and sperm into the water column.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Zebrasoma are known to irritate some stony corals to induce the release of zooxanthellae, evidently a sailfin delicacy. 

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef and Animal Attractions 2016

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-BO

fishbase  www.fishbase.org/summary/Zebrasoma-scopas.htmlIUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/178005/0

EOL eol.org/pages/204517/details

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/4770058557/in/set-72157625992053826/

fishbase http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Zebrasoma-scopas.html