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These fish were using sails way before humans even thought of them.

Sailfin Tangs are native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans with most being found around the reefs of Japan and Australia. They majorly inhabit sea-weed reefs and lagoons which allows them to hide from any predators. Even as juveniles they are solitary fish so rely heavily on their surroundings for protection.

The sailfin tang is disk shaped, with a body similar to most surgeon fish. The dorsal as well as anal fins are huge, depending on age and type these can be similar in size to the body. The head of this fish is entirely white and it has yellow spots with a darker band running all the way to the eye. Behind the same eye is a very dark band too. All these bands have yellow lines and dots. On the caudal fin is a bright yellow colour.

Unlike many other fish the males are much bigger than the females and attract their mates by performing a colour changing spectacle. When sailfin tangs produce a larvae after 4 days, their bodies become more compressed and thorns appear on their dorsal as well as their ventral fins. Their bodies develop into being scaleless and transparent. They look significantly different at this stage than they do as adults.


Fish: Solitary reef fish

What do they eat?



Max 40cm

Water Type

Salt Water

Where are we?

Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and Red Sea

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