The Koi Scopas tang is a special variant of Zebrasoma scopas which appears sporadically in the aquarium hobby. The first specimens were discovered in the Maldives, and often made their way to European aquarists.
In recent years a concentration of these Koi Scopas were discovered southwest of Java, and many fantastic specimens including Bumblebee and Schoolbus were among these. However we’ve just come across some dive photos of a strikingly beautiful koi-style Z. scopas from Amphoe Muang Phuket, Thailand, which are the one of the rare documentations of this phenomenon in the wild.
However, more tantalizing is that Amphoe Muang Phuket and Southwest Java are firmly in the Indian Ocean. This new point on the map is leading us to wonder if Koi scopas tangs are somehow ‘endemic’ to Indian Ocean populations of scopas tangs.
Of course, there are white yellow tangs in the Pacific Ocean, and yellow scopas tangs are quite common from the Philippines, but so far as we can tell Koi Scopas are predominantly from the Indian Ocean.
If anyone has evidence of these Koi Scopas being found at all in the Indo-Pacific, we’d love to hear about it. The saga of the Koi Scopas tang, its causes and origins, are a mystery to the aquarium world, but if more of these are found from the Indian Ocean, it could be the result of some unique genetics in Zebrasoma scopas from the Indian Ocean,