Species Index

Paracanthurus hepatus
(Linnaeus, 1766)

Common Name: Blue Tang

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: East Africa to Kiribati, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and Samoa. In Australia recorded from the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to northern New South Wales.

Ecological Notes: Frequent areas of branching coral in clear, current swept terraces of seaward reefs, often seen diving for cover among coral branches when threatened. Depth 2 – 40 m.

Additional Notes: Bright blue body with distinctive black marking from eye to base and sides of yellow tail. Often in small schools feeding on zooplankton in the watercolumn. Adults sometimes feed on algae. Grows to 31 cm.

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.436.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 22/06/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 22/06/18.