We’re not sure exactly what’s stirring up in the waters of the Indian Ocean, but it’s definitely producing some gnarly aberrations of the commonly known scopas tang, Zebrasoma scopas, that we know and love. This little gem shows similar characteristics to the Tricolor Scopas we previously reported on, displaying a golden undertone with random cowhide splotches of white, yellow, green and black. Imported by Russo’s Reef, this specific piebald has reached maturity at 6” in length, further lending credence that these types of aberrations further develop with age.
Another characteristic that makes this Koi Tang so unique is the striking red coloration of the irises, a genetic trait more commonly appearing in fish with albinism. With an endless amount of explanations, we can only hope that the particular fish on display at A Reef Creation will continue to develop more stark color patches with time and grow old in a reef aquarium as beautiful as it is!
A very similar looking koi scopas tang was recently spotted in South Africa with the same bright red eye and yellow tail. It’s possible that these two fish are siblings collected from the same area displaying the same genetic anomaly. Alternatively it’s also conceivable that the aberration that affects the coloration of scopas tangs displays itself in a predictable fashion, being more pronounced in the eyes and tail than the rest of the body.