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Blue Surgeon Tang

Paracanthurys hepatus

Quick Facts

Scientific name: Paracanthurus hepatus
Class: Fish
Length: 8 to 12 inches
Life span: 8 to 20 years
Conservation status: Least concern
Number of offspring: 40,000 eggs at a time

About

I LIVE IN THE INDO-PACIFIC OCEAN

The blue surgeon tang is native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This fish species is most often be found on coastal regions with coral reefs in tropical and sub-tropical waters.


I AM A HERBIVORE

Unlike other surgeon fish whose diets consist mostly of plankton, the blue surgeon tang likes to graze on algae. They will use their small mouths to forage along rocks and coral on the ocean floor pulling algae off with their teeth.


BLUE SURGEON TANGS ARE SOCIAL

The blue surgeon tang will sometimes prefers their own space, however, they are most often found in pairs or small schools for extra protection from predators.


TRANSPARENT TRICK

Blue surgeon tangs are always on the move, only resting at night. When faced with danger or dark spaces, blue tangs can make themselves semi-transparent in order to hide from predators.


HELPING THE BLUE SURGEON TANG IN THE WILD

By visiting the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, you are supporting local, regional, and global conservation.


I AM IMPORTANT TO MY ECOSYSTEM

Because of their algae-centric diet, the blue surgeon tang plays an important role in keep algae growth under control. They will often pull fast-growing algae from ocean sponges, something that benefits their health.


Conservation

Learn more about our efforts, our conservation partners around the world, and the simple steps you can take to contribute.

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