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Mata Tang

Acanthurus mata


  • Western Pacific & Indian Oceans


  • Ocean reefs


  • Algae

Instead of its tail, pectoral fins do most of the work to propel this algae-eater around deep-water reefs.

This fish and others of its genus are called “surgeonfish”. Two erectile spines at the base of its tail, sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, are used in defense as the fish flicks its tail at predators or challengers. Young Mata tang are brown and become blue-grey as they age.

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