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Animal Spotlight: Blue Tang

The Blue Tang (scientific name Paracanthurus hepatus) is a lovely little fish with a deep, royal blue and black body and three tiny fins. Its side fins are black, and it has a yellow dorsal fin behind the rest of its body. These fish are also sometimes called Regal Tangs, Hippo Tangs, and Royal Blue Tangs (no relation to the drink mix).  You can find these little guys throughout the Pacific Ocean, including Japan, India, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, and Sri Lanka.

The World Conservation Union gives the Blue Tang a ranking of Least Concerned, indicating it has little chance to become extinct. As young larvae, Tangs feast on Plankton, though adult Tangs will also snack on Algae. Their mating procedure involves the male aggressively chasing the female Tang, and the resulting eggs hatch within 24 hours. The Blue Tangs’ eggs float to the surface of the ocean due to a special oil inside each one.

Animal Spotlight Blue Tang