Blue Tangs

Blue tangs eat algae off of the coral. This prevents algae from overgrowing and suffocating the coral. Blue tangs are often found swimming in large schools cruising over the reef top, grazing on algae. These conglomerations are usually composed of multiple species within the surgeonfish and tangs family.

The family of fish that includes blue tangs are referred to as surgeonfish due to the sharp, moveable spines on either side of the tail that resemble a surgeon’s scalpel. This spine fits into a horizontal groove, and can be extended and used as a weapon to fend off attacks. The spine is yellow on the blue tangs, black on other surgeonfish, and you can see it by the tail against the blue skin if you look closely.

Blue tangs are capable of adjusting the intensity of their hue, from light blue to deep purple.

The flesh of the blue tang is poisonous.

If you saw the movie Finding Nemo, Dory was a blue tang. She is the one who went along with Marlin on his journey to find little Nemo.

In a ten-year study conducted in the waters adjacent to the Virgin Islands, blue tangs were found to be more plentiful than any other fish species, accounting for an observed 15% of the region's overall fish population.

Blue Tangs are featured in the Supermarket Reef segment of Diving St. Thomas - Volume 1.


This website is a loving tribute to our fish and other sea life comrades and the gorgeous colorful sea world they inhabit.