Category: Salt Water
Facts about the Palette Surgeonfish, the Blue Tang Fish or the Blue Surgeonfish. The binomial name of the fish is paracanthurus hepatus.
Physical description of the Palette Surgeonfish
As its name suggests, the Palette Surgeonfish takes the design of a palette. The Palette Surgeonfish is flat and rounded in shape. The entire body of the Palette Surgeonfish is blue and black with a yellow dorsal fin. Adult Palette Surgeonfish reach a length of up to 30 centimeters long(12 inches). The Palette Surgeonfish survive in water with PH levels of 8.0-8.4
Palette Surgeonfish can be found in outer reefs with clear waters in pairs or schools of up to 12 fish. The Palette Surgeonfish are mainly located Indo-Pacific Oceanic zones. The Palette Surgeonfish prefer to live in the live coral branches as it acts as a place of protection from predators. The Palette Surgeonfish can be found at water depths of between 2 meters and 40 meters.
The Palette Surgeonfish have a dual feeding cycle. When younger, i.e. in juvenile stage, the Palette Surgeonfish are herbivorous and feed on planktons alone. As they grow older, the Palette Surgeonfish turn to being omnivorous and their diets are consistent of both algae and planktons to satisfy their nutritional requirements.
It takes at least 9 to 12 months for a Palette Surgeonfish to reach the sexual maturity age. In the late afternoons and evenings, the palette Surgeonfish spawn. And during mating, the color of the Palette Surgeonfish can be seen to turn from the deep royal blue to a lighter shade. The spawn is normally found floating on top of the water as they have a pelagic aspect which enables them to float. The fertilized eggs take approximately 24 hours to hatch. The hatched Palette Surgeonfish are translucent in color.
This fish type, as any other, has predators and their survival tactic is that they turn their color from the deep royal blue to colorless as it reduces the chances of their visibility. Also when directly attacked, the Palette Surgeonfish have a caudal spine capable of extending out and with the help of repeated side to side motion, can deeply cut an opponent. The Palette Sureonfish have their own natural method for protection against parasitic infections such that their scales secrete a slimy liquid which protects them from parasitic organisms and can also be used as a repellent from some predators.
The Palette Surgeonfish like any other living organism faces a health threat from disease attacks in their lateral line, fin erosion, and some parasitic infections causing diseases such as the marine spot disease.
From their feeding habits, it is directly clear that the Palette Surgeonfish are very important in reducing planktons which are otherwise a big threat to aquatic life. The Palette Surgeonfish are used as bait since they have a very strong odor that can be used by fishers. The Palette Surgeonfish are sold as aquarium fish. As much as the Palette Surgeonfish is not edible for human consumption, it plays a very important role in the eco-system in many ways and should therefore be protected. The Palette Surgeonfish is flat and rounded in shape. The entire body of the Palette Surgeonfish is blue and black with a yellow dorsal fin.