Zebrasoma velifer (Bloch, 1795)
Sailfin tang
Zebrasoma velifer
photo by Macaraig, J.M.

 Family:  Acanthuridae (Surgeonfishes, tangs, unicornfishes), subfamily: Acanthurinae
 Max. size:  40 cm SL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 45 m
 Distribution:  Western Indian Ocean: Mozambique (Ref. 41878). Pacific Ocean: Indonesia to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, and Rapa Island. Replaced by the similar Zebrasoma desjardinii in the Indian Ocean.
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 4-5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-33; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 23-26. Smalls juveniles have alternating yellow and black bars. No brush-like patch of setae posteriorly on side of body. Dorsal fin very elevated, the longest ray 2.1 to 2.5 times in SL (Ref 9808). Description: Characterized further by having dorsal and anal fins with dark grey to brownish in color, with pale bands; caudal fin grey to yellow; caudal peduncle with retractable spine present on each side; greatest depth of body 1.8-2.0 in SL (Ref. 90102).
 Biology:  Occurs in lagoon and seaward reefs from the lower surge zone to a depth of at least 30 m. Solitary juveniles found among rocks or coral (Ref. 58534) of shallow protected, sometimes turbid reefs (Ref. 1602, 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feeds on leafy macroalgae. It possesses, fewer and larger pharyngeal teeth, compared to the other Zebrasoma spp. (Ref. 33204). The species is never poisonous (Ref. 4795).
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   

 Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 17.10.90
 Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 30.04.13
 Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 30.08.94

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