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Southern Blue Tang

The Southern Blue Tang is well known as Dory, the forgetful fish from the movie Finding Nemo. It is easily recognisable by its blue body with black markings and characteristic yellow triangle on the tail.

MAQ Southern Blue Tang

Southern Blue Tang

While you may think the bright blue colourings of the Southern Blue Tang scream ‘look at me’, the Southern Blue Tang would much rather stay out of the spotlight.

Spiny features

The Southern Blue Tang has a single spine on each side of their tale that flips out like a flick-knife to slash its predators.


The Southern Blue Tang is found throughout the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is found along the length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.


The Southern Blue Tang feeds on algae, using its sharp teeth to rip it from rocks and coral. This diet is important not only for the fish, but also for the health of reefs as it prevents the algae from overgrowing and suffocating the coral.

  • Southern Blue Tang Fast Facts:
  • Common Name: Southern Blue Tang
  • Scientific Name: Paracanthurus hepatus
  • Habitat: Coral reefs
  • Diet: Zooplankton and benthic algae
  • Size: Up to 31cm
  • Range: Entire length of the Great Barrier Reef
  • Threats: Larger fish, sharks and by-catch
  • Conservation Status: Least concern
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