The Purple Tang, also known as the Yellowtail Sailfin Tang, Yellowtail Surgeonfish, and the Blue Surgeonfish, is blue to purple in color with a yellow tail and yellow accents on the pectoral fins. This fish was formally known only to the coral reefs of the Red Sea, but it is now found in the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden and in the waters off Sri Lanka as well. It usually lives singly, but can occasionally be found in schools in the southern Red Sea.
The Purple Tang is one of the most prized specimens of all saltwater fish for its coloration, and one of the most popular Tangs for the reef aquarium. If housed properly, it is a rewarding and attractive addition to any large fish-only tank, or reef aquarium. If keeping them, be sure to provide good lighting, lots of free-swimming space and plenty of potential hiding spots. They can be very aggressive and do not fare well with tank mates of similar body shape, especially other Tangs of the genus Zebrasoma.