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Sailfin Tang - Black Longnose


Sailfin Tang - Black Longnose
Zebrasoma rostratum
Place of origin: 
Central Pacific
Only known from the South Pacific, Marquesas to Cook Islands, Tuvalu and Pitcairn. Occurs in lagoons and on protected reefs to about 15m depth. Adults readily identified by their black colour and long snout. Very similar to Zebrasoma scopas , co-occurs and inter-breeds in some areas. Length to 21cm. 
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 spine  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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