Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs (Ref. 9710). Juveniles in shallow water (Ref. 9710). Extremely territorial and solitary (Ref. 5503).
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Distribution

Range Description

Zebrasoma gemmatum is found from Mauritius to Madagascar and Natal, South Africa. It has also been recorded from Mozambique (Fischer et al. 1990).
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Western Indian Ocean: Mozambique and South Africa; also Madagascar, Reunion (Ref. 54356), and Mauritius.
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Western Indian Ocean: East Africa and South Africa to Madagascar and Mascarenes (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodrigues).
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 4; Dorsal soft rays (total): 27 - 28; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 24 - 25
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Size

Maximum size: 220 mm TL
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Max. size

22.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 3145))
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Considered rare (Ref. 5213). Extremely territorial and solitary (Ref. 5503).
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This is a rare species, usually encountered below 25 m and reported to 60 m. Juveniles have been reported to occur in shallower parts of its depth range and adults usually below 20 m (Lieske and Myers 1994). Jewelled Tang is seen on open reefs or over mixed sand and rubble adjacent to reefs. Territorial and nearly always solitary (Kuiter and Debelius 2001).

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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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 10 - 61 m (Ref. 9710), usually 25 - ? m (Ref. 3145)
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
  • Randall, J.E. 1986 Acanthuridae. p. 811-823. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin. (Ref. 3145)
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Depth range based on 3 specimens in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 17 - 18

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 17 - 18
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 10 - 61m.
From 10 to 61 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Zebrasoma gemmatum

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


No available public DNA sequences.

Download FASTA File
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Zebrasoma gemmatum

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 1
Specimens with Barcodes: 3
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
DD
Data Deficient

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

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

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Zebrasoma gemmatum is rare and inhabits deeper waters. It is harvested for the aquarium trade and due to its rarity fetches a very high price online. There is very little information available on its biology or the rates of harvest. It is therefore listed as Data Deficient.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species. It is rare.

Population Trend
Unknown
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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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Data deficient (DD)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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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 gemmatum

The gem tang, spotted tang or Mauritian tang (Zebrasoma gemmatum) is a marine reef tang in the fish family Acanthuridae. They may live at water depths of 10 – 61 m (33 – 200 ft) or more. The fish grow to a maximum length of 22 cm (8.7 in). Zebrasoma gemmatum is found in the Western Indian Ocean off the coast of Mozambique, South Africa and Madagascar and near the islands of Réunion and Mauritius. Z.gemmatum is a highly prized specimen by marine aquarists and often commands prices of $3000 or more.

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