Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Zebrasoma scopas, Brown Sailfin-tang, Brushtail Sailfin-tang

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v extended
brown, body fine grey stripes, head white dots
tail spine white
juv: body brown, front yellow-brown + thin yellow bars
D&A sail-like

Zebrasoma scopas (Cuvier, 1829)

Brushtail Sailfin-tang, Brown Sailfin-tang

Body a strongly compressed disc; body depth of adults 57 % SL; head profile steep; eye high on side of head; snout strongly extended, ~57% SL; top and bottom snout profiles concave; mouth small, protrusible; teeth are toothed spatulas; dorsal fin V (IV-V), 23-25; A III, 19-21, dorsal and anal fins extremely elevated, longest D ray 29% SL; pectoral 14-16; pelvic fin I, 5; tail fin straight edge; an oval 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.

Dark brown; often shading to yellow-brown at front; head with dense tiny pale dots, body with dense thin pale lines; iris reddish brown; tail spine white. Juvenile: dark brown fading to yellow brown at front, ~18 thin pale yellow bars on front of body; head densely covered with tiny pale dots.

Reaches 22 cm.

Coral reefs and rocky bottoms

Depth range 1-60 m

Indo-central Pacific; introduced to southeast Florida.

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  • 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
  • 22
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 60