Yellow tangfish

(Zebrasoma flavescens)


Yellow tangfish IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

The yellow tang reaches a total length of 15-18 cm. It has a sharp spine on each side of the body close to the base of the tail and distinct anterolateral grooves but the presence of venom glands could not be determined.

The yellow tang lives singly or in loose groups. It feeds on filamentous algae.

Did you know?
that the yellow tang has become known to a wide audience thanks to the movie Finding Nemo? The character "Bubbles" is a yellow tang who is a member of the "tank gang" and behaves wildly in the presence of bubbles.


Name (Scientific) Zebrasoma flavescens
Name (English) Yellow tangfish
Name (French) Chirurgien jaune
Name (German) Gelber Segelflossendoktor
Name (Spanish) Pez cirujano amarillo
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
Vladimír Motyčka



Range Pacific Ocean: Ryukyu, Mariana, Marshall, Marcus, Wake and Hawaiian islands.
Habitat Coral reefs from surface to a depth of ca. 46 m.
Wild population Unknown
Zoo population Considering that most public aquaria are not part of the WAZA system and do not register their collections with ISIS, available ISIS data are not significant.

In the Zoo

Yellow tangfish


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 51 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.

Fish must be unpacked carefully and under low illumination.


Find this animal on ZooLex


Photo Copyright by
Mila Zinkova

Why do zoos keep this animal

Yellow tang are not an endangered species but their habitats, coral reefs, are threatened in many places. They are thus presented by zoos and aquariums as an ambassador species for reef protection.