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Sailfin Tang - Melanesia


Sailfin Tang - Melanesia
Zebrasoma veliferum
Place of origin: 
Widespread West and Central Pacific. Replaced in the Indian Ocean by the closely related Zebrasoma desjardinii , west from Java. Occurs mainly on coastal reefs and sheltered inner reefs. Adults may school in some oceanic locations, but are often seen alone. Juveniles typically seen in large coral thickets and usually solitary. Readily identified by the tall fins and colouration. Length to 30cm.
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 spineĀ  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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