Zebrasoma scopas can spawn in groups or in pairs. When in groups, females release eggs and males release sperm into open water where fertilization occurs. When in pairs, the male courts a female by changing colors and exhibiting a shimmering movement. The two fish then swim upward and simultaneously release their eggs or sperm into the water. Males may spawn with multiple females in one session, while females typically spawn only once a month.
Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)
Yellow tangs reproduce externally. Their spawning peaks from March to September, but some fish spawn at all times throughout the year. An average female can release about 40,000 eggs.
Breeding interval: Females spawn about once a month
Breeding season: Breeding occurs year-round, but more often from March to September
Range number of offspring: 40,000 (high) .
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; year-round breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; fertilization (External ); broadcast (group) spawning; oviparous
There is no parental investment in yellow tangs beyond the fertilization of eggs.
Parental Investment: no parental involvement; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female)
- Lobel, P. 1989. Ocean current variability and the spawning season of Hawaiian reef fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 24: 161-171.
- Agbayani, E. 2008. "Zebrasoma flavescens" (On-line). FishBase. Accessed April 08, 2008 at http://www.fishbase.org/summary/Speciessummary.php?id=6018.
- Brough, D., C. Brough. 2008. "Animal-World" (On-line). Accessed April 08, 2008 at http://animal-world.com/encyclo/marine/tangs/yellow.php.
- Detroit Zoological Society, 2008. "Detroit Zoo" (On-line). Accessed April 09, 2008 at http://www.detroitzoo.org/zoo/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=562&Itemid=610.
- Waikïkï Aquarium, 1999. "Marine Life Profile: Yellow Tang" (On-line pdf). Waikïkï Aquarium Educational Department. Accessed April 07, 2008 at http://www.waquarium.org/MLP/root/pdf/MarineLife/Vertebrates/YellowTang.pdf.
- Wood, A. 2008. "Animal Life Resource" (On-line). Accessed April 09, 2008 at http://animals.jrank.org/pages/2212/Surgeonfishes-Relatives-Acanthuroidei-YELLOW-TANG-Zebrasoma-flavescens-SPECIES-ACCOUNTS.html.