Aberrant Zebrasoma tangs come in many different varieties; there’s ‘koi’ scopas tangs, calico scopas, yellow scopas, piebald and white yellow tangs, but today’s spotlight falls on a very unusual piebald scopas tang. This curious specimen photographed by Dawn Goebbels in Kenya represents one of the most high-phase yellow aberrant Scopas tangs we’ve ever seen.
What makes this particular observation interesting is the feedback from Ms. Goebbels that this fish was not only unusual in its appearance, but also didn’t seem to behave like a typical scopas tang. This last point was remarkable to Goebbels because she’s been trying to get a good photograph of Zebrasoma scopas but typical wild fish are very wary of divers.
In contrast to this the large, nearly all yellow scopas tang seemed very bold and enabled her to create some really great portraits of this very neat fish. In the photograph above we can see a snapshot into an African reef fish habitat which includes the goldbar wrasse, checkerboard wrasse and a bird wrasse.
The Indian Ocean has been a hotbed of aberrant Scopas tangs and were among the first oddball colored Zebrasoma that the aquarium hobby ever enjoyed. It’s always neat to see unusual fish specimens like hybrids and aberrant reef fish in the aquarium hobby but it’s a special treat to see these interesting specimens pictured in the wild.