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Regal Tang

Paracanthurus hepatus


Captive saltwater fish observed in an aquarium at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. The fish has a royal blue body, yellow tail, and black 'palette' design. The lower body is yellow in the west-central Indian Ocean.[3] It grows to 30 cm (12 in.). This fish is rather flat, like a pancake, with a circular body shape, a pointed snout-like nose, and small scales. The blue tang has 9 dorsal spines, 26-28 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 24-26 anal soft rays.


This marine species was photographed in a saltwater aquarium at Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, SC. In the wild, it can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is seen in reefs of East Africa, Japan, Samoa, New Caledonia, and the Great Barrier Reef


Captive fish photographed in a saltwater aquarium. A number of common names are attributed to the species, including regal tang, palette surgeonfish, blue tang (leading to confusion with the Atlantic Acanthurus coeruleus), royal blue tang, hippo tang, flagtail surgeonfish, pacific regal blue tang, and blue surgeonfish.

1 Species ID Suggestions

KimLomman 10 years ago
Regal Tang
Paracanthurus hepatus Paracanthurus hepatus

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1 Comment

KenCheeks 10 years ago

Thanks to Shirezu for the identification of this species.

Spotted by

South Carolina, USA

Spotted on May 22, 2009
Submitted on Feb 17, 2013

Spotted for Mission

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