Acanthurus Leucosternon: Blue Surgeonfish/Powder Blue Tang
These powder blue ravishing beauties are native to the warm tropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean (23℃-28℃), in shallows, seaweed slopes and flat top reefs. They come in a variety of shades of blue accented by bright yellow and white. This Tang is part of the Acanthuridae family, is quite aggressive and an herbivore.
The Tang has an oval shaped powder blue body with 9 yellow dorsal fins, yellow caudal crescent shaped fins, white anal and pelvic fins and transparent pectoral fins. It has 28 - 30 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal-spines, 23-26 anal-soft rays, a striking blue-black face with a small pointed white mouth which is ideal for reaching narrow space like nooks and crannies to remove algae. The brightness of the blue body is an indicator of the health of the fish. This fish has a surgeon’s scalpel which it use to defend itself.
These fish come in large feeding aggregations, grazing mostly on benthic algae. They are very important to the life cycle of the coral reefs as their love for algae prevents the corals from suffocating. The Tang has a lifespan of about 5-10 years and can reach a length of 18 - 25cm. The Tang is social (schools of 10-12 fish) monogamous and spawns in groups where they release about 40 000 eggs.