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Species: Zebrasoma velifer, Pacific Sailfin-tang

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout extended
body: 7 dark bars + many thin yellow bars
C: yellow + white base
juv: yellow + 7 white-edged dark bars; C yellow/clear
D&A sail-like

Zebrasoma velifer (Bloch, 1795)

Pacific 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, 29-33; A III,23-26, 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.

Head and body grey, with 7 dark bars (containing fine yellow lines in rear bars, yellow dots in front bars) alternating with narrow light (white anteriorly) bars containing bright yellow lines; snout grey, with dense paler dots; tail base with blue-grey blotch; tail fin yellow to yellow-brown, with white bar at base; dorsal and anal fins dark, with thin curved pale bars. 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 1-45 m

West and 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
  • 40
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 45