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Species: Zebrasoma xanthurum, Yellowtail Sailfin-tang

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout v extended
dark blue; C & pectoral edge - yellow
juv: blue + grey stripes; head - dense grey dots
D&A sail-like

Zebrasoma xanthurum (Blyth, 1852)

Yellowtail Sailfin-tang

Body a strongly compressed disc; body depth of adults 54-59% 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 20 top and 22 bottom teeth; dorsal fin IV, 24-25; A III, 19-20, dorsal and anal fins extremely elevated, longest D ray ~28% SL; pectoral 15; pelvic fin I, 5; tail fin straight edge; adult with a 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, body and dorsal, anal and pelvic fins dark blue; head with dense grey dots; tail fin bright yellow; pectorals blue, rear ¼ yellow. Juvenile: dark blue, body with fine grey stripes, head with dense grey dots; dorsal and anal fins with grey rays; tail fin yellow.

Reaches 22 cm.

Coral reefs and rocky bottoms

Depth range 1-61 m.

Red Sea & Arabian Gulf; 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
  • No pelagic phase
  • 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
  • 61