Zebrasoma flavescens Bennett, 1828, Hawaiian Islands.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
German: Gelber Segelflosser; Japanese: Kiirohagi.
Body is compressed and disc-like, with a concave head, a pronounced snout, and a protruding mouth. The dorsal fin is highly elevated and has four to five spines and 23–26 soft rays. The anal fin has three spines and 19–22 soft rays, and the pectoral fin has 14–16 soft rays. The body is a bright yellow, but the caudal spine sheath is white. Known to hybridize with Z. scopas. Grows to more than 7.9 in (20 cm) in length.
Tropical waters of the northern Pacific Ocean, from Minamitori- shima (Marcus Island) east to Wake Island, the Marshall Islands (uncommon), the Hawaiian Islands, and Johnston Island. Also in the Ogasawara, Ryukyu, and Mariana Islands. A waif was reported from Hong Kong, and other records, both in Polynesia and in the Indian Ocean, are probably xanthic morphs of Z. scopas.
Coral and rocky reefs, either exposed reef slopes to 265 ft (81 m) or in bays and lagoons as shallow as 3.3 ft (1 m).
May be found in small groups or singly. Groups often move from point to point to browse on algae. Sometimes observed in mixed-species schools.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Herbivorous. Browses on filamentous algae on coral reefs.
This species has two mating systems. Single males may defend territories, court passing females, and engage in pair spawning in the water column. Alternatively, group spawning at spawning aggregation sites occurs. The spawning season is limited by the effects of seasonally cooler water temperatures at higher latitudes. Eggs and larvae are pelagic.
Not listed by the IUCN but subject to overfishing, particularly in parts of the Hawaiian Islands, for the aquarium trade.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
An important species in the aquarium trade and the number one exported species from the Hawaiian Islands.
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