- Art Gallery -

Zebrasoma xanthurum

Zebrasoma xanthurum, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Superregnum : Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Superclassis/Classis: Actinopterygii
Classis/Subclassis: Actinopteri
Subclassis/Infraclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Megacohors: Osteoglossocephalai
Supercohors: Clupeocephala
Cohors: Euteleosteomorpha
Subcohors: Neoteleostei
Infracohors: Eurypterygia
Sectio: Ctenosquamata
Subsectio: Acanthomorphata
Divisio/Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Subdivisio: Percomorphaceae
Series: Eupercaria
Ordo: Acanthuriformes
Subordo: Acanthuroidei

Familia: Acanthuridae
Genus: Zebrasoma

Species: Zebrasoma xanthurum

Zebrasoma xanthurum Blyth, 1852
Vernacular names
English: Purple tang, yellowtail tang
magyar: Szeplős zászlóshal
한국어: 퍼플 탱

Zebrasoma xanthurum, the purple tang or yellowtail tang, is a species of reef surgeonfish in the family Acanthuridae. It was first described by zoologist Edward Blyth in 1852.


Purple tangs grow to a maximum length of near 25 cm (9.8 in). Their bodies are purple in color with a yellow tail. The heads of purple tangs are covered with black spots, and black horizontal lines run down the sides of the bodies of some specimens. The center of their bodies are sometimes a darker color of purple relative to the rest of their bodies. On most specimens, the tips of their pectoral fins are yellow.

Like all members of the genus Zebrasoma, purple tangs have large dorsal and anal fins and an extended snout that is used to forage for algae within rocks. When the dorsal and anal fins are fully extended, the fish looks like a disk.

As typical of all surgeonfish, purple tangs have a sharp spines on each side of their caudal peduncle, which are used for defense.

It has been historically noted that purple tangs are only found in the Red Sea, but it has now been understood that this is not completely true. Purple tangs have now been found in the Gulf of Aden, Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea.

Purple tangs typically inhabit coral reef ecosystems, where they are found eating filamentous algae in the reef. They have been found at depths ranging from 2 to 20 m (6.6 to 65.6 ft). Adults are typically found swimming in shoals, while juveniles remain solitary.

Myers, R.; Abesamis, R.; Clements, K.D.; Choat, J.H.; McIlwain, J.; Nanola, C.; Rocha, L.A.; Russell, B.; Stockwell, B. (2012). "Zebrasoma xanthurum". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012: e.T178009A1519810. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2012.RLTS.T178009A1519810.en. Retrieved 18 November 2021.
Carpenter, K.E., F. Krupp, D.A. Jones and U. Zajonz, 1997. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. Living marine resources of Kuwait, eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. FAO, Rome. 293 p.

Fish Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/"
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World