Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Zebrasoma desjardinii, Indian Sailfin-tang

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v extended
body: 8 dark bars + many thin yellow bars
lower body many yellow spots
C blue-grey + white dots
D&A sail-like
juv: yellow + 7 white-edged dark bars, C yellow/clear

Zebrasoma desjardinii (Bennett, 1836)

Indian Sailfin-tang

Body a strongly compressed disc; body depth of adults 50-55% SL; head profile steep; eye high on side of head; snout strongly extended; top and bottom snout profiles concave; mouth small, protrusible; teeth are toothed spatulas, up to 16 top and 18 bottom teeth; dorsal fin IV, 27-31; anal fin III,22-24, dorsal and anal fins extremely elevated, longest D ray 40-48% SL; pectoral 15-17; pelvic fin I, 5; tail fin straight edge; no patch of brush-like setae on rear side of body; a single depressible spine fits into a groove on the side of the tail base; scales very small, rough; lateral line complete.

Body grey to dark grey, with ~8 indistinct dark bars, many thin yellow bars on upper 2/3 of body, many small yellow spots on lower 1/3; head pale grey, with two, often indistinct, dark bars, and densely covered with small pale dots; dorsal and anal fins brownish grey, with thin yellow to bluish grey bars; caudal peduncle and tail fin blue-grey, fin with many small bluish white dots. Juvenile: yellow, with 7, white-edge dark bars, those strongest at front and rear; tail fin yellow to clear with yellow base.

Reaches 40 cm.

Coral reefs and rocky bottoms

Depth range 1-30 m

Indian Ocean; introduced to southeast Florida

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Herbivore
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 30