Species Details

Details of Desjardin's Sailfin Tang will be displayed below

Desjardin's Sailfi...   

Common Name: Indian Sailfin Tang, Indian Sailfin Surgeonfish
Scientific Name: Zebrasoma desjardinii
Local Name: Dhunfaiy'mas
Dhivehi Name: ދުންފަޠްމަސް
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Acanthuridae  (Family)
Zebrasoma   (Genus)

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang's description

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang grows to a maximum length of 40 cm (16 in), with a sexual dimorphism, as males being larger than females. This species shows the typical morphology of the family Acanthuridae. The body is oval or disc-shaped, with erectile and much elevated dorsal and anal fins. In general, the upper side of the body alternates orange and dark blue vertical bands, with a larger blue band on the eyes, a spotted ventral region and numerous white spots on the head. The dorsal and anal fins have a pattern of horizontal alternate orange and blue bands. The caudal fin shows white spots and lines. Like most surgeonfish on each side of the caudal fin, in the middle of the caudal peduncle, there is a defensive dark spine surrounded by a blue zone. This spine is hinged and may unfolds to 80°.

Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 4 spines and 27-31 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 22-24 rays. Pectoral rays 15-17. Body depth 1.8-2.0 in standard length. Dorsal and anal fins strongly elevated. No bristles on anterior to caudal spine.



Desjardin's Sailfin Tang's facts

Did you know?

  • The coloration may vary from one individual to another and within the same individual, depending on age.
  • In respect of Sailfin Tang (Zebrasoma veliferum), adult Desjardin's Sailfin Tang has a few less anal fin rays and different marking on the tail. As a juvenile, they are almost indistinguishable in color and markings.

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang's Behavior & Ecology

Adults usually can be found in pairs, while juveniles are solitary. When threatened, these fishes display their large ventral and dorsal fins. They feed primarily on filamentous algae, various macroalgae and plankton. However, individuals were regularly observed feeding on jellyfish (Scyphozoa) and comb jellies (Ctenophora) in the Red Sea. They are pair spawners, a typical trait of other fish in the Zebrasoma genus. This differs from the group spawning typical of the Acanthuridae family. Found in lagoon and seaward reefs to depths greater then 30 m; juveniles in sheltered inner reef areas. Adults usually occur in pairs. Juveniles solitary and commonly among staghorn corals in lagoons or protected reefs

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang's Relationship with Humans

Zebrasoma desjardini is widespread and occasionally to locally common in most parts of its range. It is harvested for the aquarium trade, but is not a major component. There are no major threats known and it occurs in a number of marine protected areas in parts of its distribution.

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang habitat

Zebrasoma desjardini is found in coral reefs and is usually solitary or in pairs. It is classified as a grazer (Choat 1991). Juveniles recruit into live, digitate coral (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). Acanthurids do not display obvious sexual dimorphism, males assume courtship colours (J.H. Choat pers. comm. 2010).

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang 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).

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang's status