The chevron tang, Ctenochaetus hawaiiensis, has long been a popular aquarium tang, and for good reason. Juveniles are brilliantly colored and, like many tangs, does an admiral job of eating nuisance algae.
Nearly all chevron tangs make their way to the hobby via Hawaii (hence the scientific name hawaiiensis), but is also native to the islands of Micronesia. That is until last month. In August when, not one but two specimens were collected in the waters of Cagayan, Philipinnes, extending the range by nearly 600 miles.
With Chevron tangs, as well as another Micronesian inhabitant, that we hobbyists recognize as a helfrich’s firefish, being collected in this region of the Philippines, as well as fish previously believed to be limited to Japanese waters, Cagayan is proving to be an interesting biogeographical collection point. Containing many of the ‘usual suspects’ of Filipino fish as well as fish normally from the north in Japan as well as far east from Micronesia it is worth keeping an eye out for what will pop up next.
This is a guest contribution by TJ Engels, one of the marine fish specialists at Greenwich Aquaria.