Fish Species at

Many Colors, Many Names

Whether you call them hippo tangs or regal blues, palette surgeonfish are beautiful fish that are worth looking into.

By Jay Hemdal

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Look Mom! It’s Dory!” I’m a public aquarium curator, and ever since we added a large Paracanthurus hepatus tang to our living coral exhibit, our hallways echo with that phrase. All day long, the children call out her name as they recognize this species of fish from the popular Disney movie Finding Nemo. Certainly, local fish stores witnessed increasing sales of these already popular fish after the movie was released. The downside is that, although this species is found widely throughout the Indo-Pacific, it is nowhere very common. The fear is that overcollection for the pet trade may adversely affect wild populations. One way to limit the number of these fish that are being collected is to educate aquarists about the needs of this species, so that the fish survives better and fewer need to be collected.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the June 2009 issue of Freshwater And Marine Aquarium, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.

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