The palette surgeonfish goes by many monikers, including regal tang, blue tang, blue hippo tang, wedgetail blue tang, and doctorfish. Distinguished by her bright blue body and distinct black markings, dark blue accents and a yellow tail, the palette surgeonfish has an oval-shaped body that is flat like a pancake. But beware, you don’t want to handle this one as she has venomous spines at the base of her tail that are typical of surgeonfish. Her other defenses include lying on her side and playing dead, and using her caudal spine to anchor in the coral so that predators can’t pull her out.
The palette surgeonfish are not picky maters. As broadcast spawners, they gather in spontaneous breeding groups where they scatter their seed. Females release up to 40,000 eggs in a spawning event, each with a drop of oil to help it float in the water, where fertilization takes place. Growing up to 26cm in length, the palette surgeonfish can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific.
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