ANIMAL: Regal Tang/Regal Blue Tang/Hippo Tang/Palette Surgeonfish Paracanthurus hepatus Type of Animal: Tang/Surgeonfish Habitat: Reefs ranging from 6.56 to 131.234 ft in depth Location(s): Indo-Pacific Appearance: Royal blue to purplish-blue body, yellow tail, black palette design, rather flat fish w/ circular body shape & pointed snout-like nose, males larger than females, juveniles bright yellow w/ blue spots near eyes Food/Diet: Algae, phytoplankton, zooplankton, seaweed, detritus, mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, krill, bloodworms Status in Wild: Stable Conservation: Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos Lifestyle: Schools of 2-12 fish, territories often defended by a school Additional Info: Called: Male Female Young: Acronurus Group: School Weight: Male: 1-1.3 lbs Female: 0.8-1 lb Gestation: 1 day Life Span: 10-30 years Body Length: Male: 5-14 in Female: 4-10 in Tail Length: 2-2.5 in, same for both sexes Main predators are groupers, tuna, barracudas, jacks, & snapper. They’re important in keeping coral reefs healthy due to algae-eating diet. Without these fish, algal overgrowths can occur. Eggs are pelagic & hatch a day after being released. Single female can release around 40,000 eggs & males then swim through egg cloud releasing sperm/fertilizing eggs. Reach maturity at 9 months old. Besides using scalpels at base of tail fin, another defense mechanism is to play dead. Fights involve use of caudal/tail spines. Fry planktonic until transitioning to juvenile stage at around 5 weeks old. Sometimes seen schooling w/ other fish species. Fun Fact(s): Get color from cells known as iridiophores. Can change coloration from normal color to violet when under stress. Get surgeonfish name from 2 razor-sharp venomous scalpels at base of tail fin used in defense. These spines can cause nasty wounds. Flesh of this species poisonous. These fish rather difficult to breed in captivity w/ most specimens available being wild-caught. These fish became highly popular after 2003 movie Finding Nemo due to character Dory who’s one of these fish. 2016 sequel/spinoff Finding Dory based on this character. In fact, many aquarium goers call these fish “Dory Fish.” Besides main 4 names & dory fish, also known as Blue Tang, Blue Hippo Tang, Royal Blue Tang, Blue Surgeonfish, Pacific Regal Blue Tang, Flagtail Surgeonfish, Doctorfish, Yellow-Tail Blue Tang, Hepatus Tang, Indo-Pacific Blue Tang, Pacific Blue Tang, Blue-and-Yellow Hippo Tang, Blue Surgeon, Wedgetail Blue Tang, Palette Tang, & Wedge-Tailed Tang.
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