Predators of Zebrasoma scopas include larger fish and predatory invertebrates such as crabs and octopi. Yellow tangs rely on camouflage and their scalpel-like fins to protect themselves. To humans, these fish appear bright yellow, but, to other fish, yellow tangs blend in very well with coral reef backgrounds. According to Marshall et al. (2003) wavelength differences between yellow and average reef color become negligible at the depths where yellow tangs are found. In addition to camouflage, Zebrasoma scopas use their scalpel-like fins for defense.
Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic
- Barry, K., C. Hawryshyn. 1999. Effects of incident light and background conditions on potential conspicuousness of Hawaiian coral reef fish. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 79: 495-508.
- Marshall, N., K. Jennings, W. McFarland, E. Loew, G. Losey. 2003. Visual Biology of Hawaiian Coral Reef Fishes. BioOne, 3: 467-480.