Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Often found in groups in coral-rich areas (Ref. 9710) or on rocky bottoms (Ref. 30573). It small and numerous pharyngeal teeth suggest a diet that consists mainly of filamentous algae (Ref. 33204).
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Distribution

Range Description

Zebrasoma xanthurum is found from the Red Sea around the entire Arabian Peninsula, with a single sighting in the Maldives (Randall and Anderson 1993). Records from Sri Lanka appear to be based on an error in the type locality (Randall 2001a). It has been recorded off Hoi Ha Wan Marine Park, Hong Kong. It was probably a released aquarium fish (To and Situ 2005). Records from Comoros and Zanzibar need to be verified (R.F. Myers pers. comm. 2010).
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Red Sea, northwestern Indian Ocean: Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf (Arabian Gulf) to Maldives and Sri Lanka.
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Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea to the Persian Gulf; recorded from Maldives (Ref. 11303).
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 220 mm TL
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Max. size

22.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 2272))
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Zebrasoma xanthurum is a herbivore grazer feeding mostly on benthic algae. The diel activity of this species is divided into three distinct patters: early morning (6:00 a.m.), during the day (09:00-15:00 hr) and sunset. It feeds mostly solitarily or in pairs during the day. At sunset individuals cease feeding and move to their night shelter at the reef wall. It takes cover among coral colonies as well as crevices (Fouda and Sayed 1994). The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). There is a possibility of sexual dimorphism in Zebrasomas with cloacas bigger in females (Bushnell et al. 2010). This dimorphic character most probably applies to all Zebrasomas (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2010).

Systems
  • Marine
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Depth: 0 - 20m.
Recorded at 20 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 20 m (Ref. 9710), usually 2 - 20 m (Ref. 27115)
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Depth range based on 7 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 4 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 3 - 8.5
  Temperature range (°C): 26.151 - 28.720
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.061 - 3.114
  Salinity (PPS): 35.028 - 37.566
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.314 - 4.670
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.179 - 0.546
  Silicate (umol/l): 3.015 - 4.277

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 3 - 8.5

Temperature range (°C): 26.151 - 28.720

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.061 - 3.114

Salinity (PPS): 35.028 - 37.566

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.314 - 4.670

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.179 - 0.546

Silicate (umol/l): 3.015 - 4.277
 
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
Myers, R., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., Choat, J.H., McIlwain, J., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.

Reviewer/s
Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.

Contributor/s

Justification
Zebrasoma xanthurum is found from the Red Sea around the entire Arabian Peninsula. It is common throughout its range and can be locally abundant in some parts of its distribution. It is a minor component of the aquarium trade. There are no major threats known and it occurs in a number of marine reserves in parts of its range. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Zebrasoma xanthurum is more common on the outer islands of the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Sea: Halaniyat Islands, at 123 ind/450 m2 and Daminiyat Island 85 ind/450 m2. On the central coast of the Gulf of Oman 64 ind/450 m2 were recorded at Bandah Kayran. It is uncommon on the reefs of southern coast of Oman (J. McIlwain unpub. data). In Duda, Red Sea density estimates are 6.6/100 m2 (A. Ayling pers. comm. 2010)

In the Nabq Managed Resource Protected Area, South Sinai, Egyptian Red Sea, mean abundances of this species showed differences at various depths and between no-take zones (NTZ) and take zones (TZ). At 1 m depth of the NTZ, mean abundance was recorded at 0.00 while in the TZ it was 0.04. At 3 m depth of the NTZ, mean abundance was recorded at 4.83 while in the TZ it was 4.00. At 10 m depth of the NTZ, mean abundance was recorded at 0.42 and 1.13 in the TZ (Ashworth and Ormond 2005). The greater abundance of this species in the fished area than in the NTZ in 10 m depths, can be attributed to a result of reduced predation or competition (Ashworth and Ormond 2005).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known for this species.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).
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Least Concern (LC)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
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Wikipedia

Zebrasoma xanthurum

The purple tang or yellowtail tang (Zebrasoma xanthurum) is a marine reef tang in the fish family Acanthuridae. The fish grows to a maximum length of 25 cm (9.8 in) in the wild, but rarely surpasses 20 cm (7.9 in) in captivity. Z. xanthurum inhabits the Red Sea, the west coast of India, the east coast of Africa, and the Persian Gulf, where it may live at water depths of 1 to 20 m (3 to 65 ft) or more. It is a popular fish in the aquarium trade. It is a herbivorous fish, eating primarily filamentous algae, but is omnivorous in its juvenile stage; it becomes increasingly herbivorous as it matures.

See also[edit]

Purple tang (Zebrasoma xanthurus)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Carpenter, K.E., F. Krupp, D.A. Jones and U. Zajonz, 1997. FAO species identification field guide for fishery purposes. Living marine resources of Kuwait, eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. FAO, Rome. 293 p.
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Zebrasoma xanthurus

Zebrasoma xanthurus is a Tang from the Western Indian Ocean. It occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade. It grows to a size of 22 cm in length.

References

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