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Atlantic Blue Tang

Acanthurus coeruleus


Its shape is typical of tangs, with a laterally compressed body, a lengthy continuous dorsal fin and a sharp retractable spine at the base of the tail. The bright yellow juveniles are hard to find among the rocks. As they mature, they transition to blue body with a yellow tail before turning completely blue, except for a small yellow spot on the caudal peduncle. There can be hints of orange in the tips of the fins. Intermediate ages may also have horizontal grey streaking across the body. They become sexually mature at about one year in age.


Shallow water inside reef.


The Atlantic Blue Tang is also referred to as the Caribbean Tang, the Blue Barber, the Blue Doctor, the Blue Doctorfish, the Blue Tang Surgeonfish, the Blur tang, the Yellow Barber and Yellow Doctorfish. The references to yellow result from the fact that juveniles are yellow in color.

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Spotted by

Spotted on Oct 4, 2015
Submitted on Dec 17, 2015

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