Scientific Name Naso vlamingii
Native To Tropical areas of the Pacific and Indian Ocean
Habitat Deep lagoons and seaward reefs
Diet Algae, zooplankton and fish larvae
Size and Age Up to 60 cm (24 in) long; lifespan up to 45 years
Vlamingii tang are a type of unicornfish. They are similar to other fish in their genus, having tall bodies with elongated dorsal and anal fins. Instead of growing a long horn like other unicornfish, adult vlamingii tang have a rounded and bulbous snout. Their bodies are pale gray with blue stripes; their face and fins are yellow and blue.
These fish form loose schools in reefs. They tend to be peaceful but can be aggressive to establish dominance for mating or territory. They will use the spines or “scalpels” on the base of their tail for defense and dominance displays.
Vlamingii tang are facing population decline, but they are still considered to be of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) 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 in the future.
- They are also known as the bignose unicornfish.
- Vlamingii tang can drastically change colour to showcase parasites to cleaner-fish, blend in with their environment, and during mating.
- This species can dive as deep as 50 m (163 ft).