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There is more to a Yellow tang than just their love of Bubbles

Even though the yellow tang is considered endemic to Hawaiian waters, its distribution extends from the Hawaiian area, including Johnston Island, westward through the northern Marshall Islands to Wake, Marcus, Guam, and other Marianas Islands.

During its earlier years, this fish prefers the company of other yellow tang and has a tendency to follow other yellow tang and can actually be herded like sheep under the right conditions. They prefer to reside in Staghorn Coral fields at depths above 50 feet where they can find easy cover from predators and plenty of easy access to green algae which is their preferred food.

Yellow tang start life as clear larvae before developing their distinctive narrow, oval-shaped, bright yellow body. They have long snouts and seven fins including their spiny dorsal and anal fins. They also have a sharp white spine on both sides of their tails which they can use to fight or defend themselves.

Surprisingly, yellow tang actually change colour over the course of the day. During the daylight hours, yellow tang are bright yellow all over except along their spines. At night, their colour changes to a dark, greyish-yellow with a white lateral stripe (sometimes called a “nocturnal stripe”).


Fish: Territorial reef fish

What do they eat?

Algae and marine plants


Max 20cm

Water Type

Salt Water

Where are we?

Pacific Ocean, Coast of Florida and Coast of Hawaii

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