Indian Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma desjardinii (Bennett 1836)

Other Names: Indian Sail-fin Surgeonfish, Red Sea Sailfin Tang

An Indian Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma jardinii, at Reunion Island, February 2011. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A greyish tang with darker grey bars outlined in orange on the sides and darker bars on the head, large yellowish to orange spots on the lower side, paler spots on the dorsal, anal and caudal fins, and smaller spots on the head and chest.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Zebrasoma desjardinii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2023,

Indian Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma desjardinii (Bennett 1836)

More Info


Recorded from the Australian territories of Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indian Ocean, from the Red Sea to Indonesia.
Individuals or small groups occur in lagoons and on outer reefs in depths to 30 m.


Dorsal fin IV, 27-31; anal fin III, 22-24; Pectoral fin 15-17. 
Body depth 1.8-2.0 in SL; dorsal fin tall and sail-like; caudal peduncle with a retractable spine on each side.

Species Citation

Acanthurus desjardinii Bennett 1836, Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1835(3): 207. Type locality: Mauritius.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Indian Sailfin Tang, Zebrasoma desjardinii (Bennett 1836)


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R., Human, P. & Deloach, N. 2003. Reef Fish Identification Tropical Pacific. Jacksonville, Florida : New World Publications, Inc. 457 pp. 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Bennett, E.T. 1836. Characters of several fishes from the Isle of France. Proceedings of the General Meetings for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1835(3): 206-208

Burgess, W.E. 1973. Salts from the seven seas. Tropical Fish Hobbyist 21: 37-38, 40-41

Heemstra, P.C. & Heemstra, E. 2004. Coastal fishes of southern Africa. Grahamstown, South Africa : National Inquiry Service Centre and South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity 488 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Debelius, H. 2001. Surgeonfishes, Rabbitfishes and Their Relatives. A comprehensive guide to Acanthuroidei. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 3. Jawfishes - Sunfishes, Opistognathidae - Molidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. A comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Guam : Coral Graphics vi 330 pp. 192 pls.

Myers, R., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Zebrasoma desjardinii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T178024A1524628. Downloaded on 19 March 2019.

Randall, J.E. 2001. Surgeonfishes of Hawai'i and the World. Honolulu : Mutual Publishing and Bishop Museum Press 125 pp.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37437056

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:40 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map