News / Company News / Photo of the Week - Amazing Zebrasoma (08/12/11)

Photo of the Week - Amazing Zebrasoma

This stunning tang came to visit the QM facility on 8/12/2011. In most animals, (most commonly horses) this coloration is called skewbald and is frequently confused with piebald. To put it simply, both are genetic abnormalities that prevent skin from showing its usual pigment in localized areas, resulting in an animal that looks like the tang in the picture below, or like a pinto horse.

The difference between skewbald and piebald is in color. Piebald animals are black and white, while skewbald animals are white and any other color. There are common uses of each of these terms that dont follow these guidelines.

There are several different variations in pattern (within the piebald/skewbald definition) that are also genetically linked, some requiring parents of similar patterning, others that show up totally randomly. However, because of the mass dispersal breeding mechanism of tangs, research about the heredity of these patterns in surgeonfish just isnt going to happen any time soon.

Suffice it to say that this is an extremely, (I'm talking like crazy stupid) rare color variant for any marine fish, let alone a tang. To put this in perspective, our husbandry crew is made up of several people who have been in the hobby or trade for between 15 and 30+ years and none of us has actually seen one of these in person. Pretty cool huh?