FEEDING GUIDES DETAIL
Tangs & Rabbitfishes
Tangs (Surgeonfishes) & Rabbitfishes are characterized by their high profile, laterally-compressed oval or oblong bodies, long dorsal and anal fins, and eyes set high on the head. They are all herbivores and have small mouths equipped for scraping up algae and other vegetation. It is typical among coral reefs worldwide to see these fishes grazing in large schools.
Surgeonfishes get their name from the sharp, scalpel-like erectile spines at the base of the tail that they use for defense as well as territorial disputes. The Latin name for the family, Acanthuridae, comes from two Greek words meaning “tail spine”. There are usually brightly-colored makings, considered warning colors, around these spines. Rabbitfishes, rather than having a tail spine, have spines on the dorsal and anal fins that are venomous. Rabbitfish species are usually caught for food, rather than aquarium use, in the tropics.