Zebrasoma veliferum   (Bloch,   1795) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Macaraig, J.M.

Size: 39-40 cm. SL (male).

Color: Grey-brown to dark brown with vertical orange-yellow lines on upper two-thirds of body, small orange-yellow spots on lower third of body and pale yellowish or greenish dots on head

Height 1.7-2, 2.3-2.4 in length with caudal. Head 3-3.7, 3.8-4.5 in length with caudal. Eye 3.4-3.7, 2.2 in snout and 1-1.2 in convex inter orbital space. Body irregularly ovoid. Snout concave, as also the lower profile of head, the mouth being produced. About 8 strongly lobate teeth in the upper jaw, about 10 in the lower jaw, which are only lobate along their upper border. Dorsal beginning slightly behind eye, rounded, very high, the longest rays equaling the height of the body. First dorsal spine very small. anal also very deep, rounded, the longest rays equal to height of head. Ventrals pointed, as long as snout and half eye. Caudal truncate or very slightly rounded. No brush-like patch of setae posteriorly on side of body. Dorsal fin very elevated, the longest ray 2.1 to 2.5 times in SL. Dorsal spines (total): 4-5; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-33; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 23-26. It possesses, fewer and larger pharyngeal teeth, compared to the other Zebrasoma spp.

Dioecious, external fertilization, non-guarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Paired spawning.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Acanthurus velifer Bloch, 1797
Acanthurus velifer Bloch, 1795
(Senior synonym)
Zebrasoma desjardinii (non Bennett, 1835)
(Misapplied name)
Zebrasoma veliferum (Bloch, 1795)
(Senior synonym)
Acanthurus velifer Ruppell, 1828
Acanthurus ruppelii Bennett, 1835
Acanthurus velifer Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1835
Acanthurus hypselopterus Bleeker, 1854
Acanthurus ruppellii Bleeker, 1855
Harpurus ruppelli Bleeker, 1863
Acanthurus velifer Gunther, 1861
Acanthurus velifer Klunzinger, 1871
Acanthurus hypselopterus Gunther, 1875
Acanthurus velifer Day, 1876
Acanthurus (Harpurus) velifer Klunzinger, 1884
Acanthurus velifer Sauvage, 1891
Acanthurus (Harpurus) hypselopterus Steindachner and Denkschr, 1900
Zebrasoma hypselopterum Jenkins, 1904
Zebrasoma veliferum Jordan and Evermann, 1905
Zebrasoma veliferum Jordan ans Seale, 1906
Zebrasoma ruppellii Bamber, 1915
Zebrasoma hypselopterum Ogilby, 1916
Zebrasoma veliferum Jordan and Seale, 1925
Zebrasoma veliferum Herre, 1927
Zebrasoma veliferum Fowler, 1928
Zebrasoma veliferum Fowler and Bean, 1929
Zebrasoma veliferum P. Schmidt, 1930
Zebrasoma velifer Borodin, 1930
Zebrasoma veliferum Fowler, 1931
Zebrasoma veliferum novae caledoniae Borodin, 1932
Zebrasoma veliferum Fortonese, 1936
Zebrasoma veliferum Herre, 1936
Zebrasoma veliferum Fowler, 1938
Acanthurus velifer Day, 1878
Zebrasoma veliferum De Beaufort, 1951

Common Name (s)
• Sailfin Surgeonfish (English)
• Sailfin Tang (English)
• Gali-voulang (Mahl)
• Churiyan (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium; Ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Plants, benthic algae/weeds
Predator:  Cephalopholis argus (fish)


• Lakshadweep (Lat: 11) (Long: 72.5) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Bangaram INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, North Reef Island INDIA
• Palk Bay INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park INDIA
• Lakshadweep Islands INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at - http://www.reefindia.org/
  • Rao, DV; Devi, K and Rajan, PT (2000) An account of ichthyofauna of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 178 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-434 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) Poisonous and venomous fishes of Andaman Islands, Bay of Bengal Occasional paper no 211 Records of The Zoolgical Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 25934 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Devi, K and Rao, DV (2003) A field guide to the fishes of Acanthuridae (surgeonfishes) and Siganidae (rabbitfishes) of Andaman and Nicobar Islands 42 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at - http://www.itis.gov.
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Mehdi, A; Yves, L; Michel, P and Salvat, B (1998) Factors influencing spatial distribution of fish communities an a fringing reef at Mauritius, S.W. Indian Ocean Environmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 53 169-182 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2007) Coral reef fish abundance and diversity of seagrass beds in Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Indian Journal of Fisheries Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute, Cochin 54 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Beaufort, LF and Chapman, WM (1951) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 9 484 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at - http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/ad468e/ad468e00.HTM#Contents
  • Rao, GC; Rao, DV and Devi, K (1994) A faunal exploration of the North Reef Island sanctuary, North Andaman Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 10(1&2) 68-81 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/569/1/Bulletin_8.pdf
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/7786/1/678-Mur.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/3536/1/Special_Publication_No_72.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/8574/1/Murty.pdf
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Reef Fishes Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-09

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