Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Fish Geek's Pick-Of-The-Week: Chevron Tang!

Chevron Tang (Juvenile Black Tang), by Scott Rettig

Chevron Tang

Latin: Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis

Happy New Year to our fish geeks! This week we feature one of our favorites, and a Tang that undergoes a dramatic transformation. New Year- New You! The "Chevron Tang" is actually just a common name for the juvenile stage of the Black Tang. As this fish grows on the reef, the bright colors change to dusky shades, then a rich chevroned black like crushed velvet (The Elvis stage), then finally it's adult greenish black with fine stripes.
John P. Hoover says, "Juveniles, often called Chevron Tangs, are cinnamon orange with bluish chevron markings and usually occur between 60 and 100 ft. in areas of heavy coral cover... The species is uncommon in Hawai'i except on the Big Island, where it can be abundant."
Robyn says, "This fish is one of our favorites, and we used to go out of our way to a site to visit one individual. Except this year! Well, 2014 Summer, I mean, when we had a huge explosion of surgeonfish on our reefs in Hawaii, and suddenly they were everywhere! Now they are in an in-between stage where their colors are a bit duskier and purple. We will point out a few for you, then notice on your own how each individual is in a slightly different color stage."
So let this beautiful fish inspire your 2015 with its colorful stages and exciting metamorphosis!

Kama'aina? Not endemic. But check out that Latin species name!
Size: From about 2" to about 5", when they are truly in the Black Tang phase.
Depth:Safe hard coral areas from 30' to 100'.
White List? Yes. As both Hoover and Robyn stated, these fish are rare- except for this year! Chevrons are popular in tanks because they remain in the juvenile stage, meaning that they retain their bright colors, noted chevrons, and small size.

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