Vlamingii Tang

Scientific Name Naso vlamingii

Native To Tropical areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Habitat Inshore and outer reefs as well as lagoons

Diet Algae, zooplankton, and fish larvae

Size and Age 55 cm (22 in)

Natural History

  • Related to: surgeonfish; Family Acanthuridae
  • Appearance: Similar to other in their genus, these fish have tall bodies with elongated dorsal and anal fins. However, instead of growing a long horn like other unicornfish, the adult Vlamingii tang has a rounded and bulbous snout. Their bodies are pale gray with blue stripes; the face and fins are yellow and blue.
  • Behaviour: These fish form loose schools in reefs. They tend to be peaceful but can be aggressive to establish dominance for mating and territories. They will use the spines or “scalpels” on the base of their tail for defense and dominance displays.

Least Concern

Conservation Status

  • The Vlamingii tang are facing population decline but are considered Least Concern due to their widespread range.
  • Current stressors to their numbers, such as harvesting for fisheries and coral reef destruction, could pose risk to their survival.

Interesting Facts

  • Also known as the bignose unicornfish
  • The Vlamingii tang can drastically change colour to showcase parasites to cleaner-fish, blend in with their environment, and during mating.
  • Can dive as deep as 50m (163 ft)