Zebrasoma gemmatum 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Acanthuridae

Scientific Name: Zebrasoma gemmatum
Species Authority: (Valenciennes, 1835)
Common Name(s):
English Jewelled Tang, Spotted Tang, Gem Surgeonfish
French Acanthure à Pierreries
Acanthurus gemmatus Valenciennes, 1835

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2012
Date Assessed: 2010-05-07
Assessor(s): Myers, R., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B.
Reviewer(s): Edgar, G. & Kulbicki, M.
Zebrasoma gemmatum is rare and inhabits deeper waters. It is harvested for the aquarium trade and due to its rarity fetches a very high price online. There is very little information available on its biology or the rates of harvest. It is therefore listed as Data Deficient.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Zebrasoma gemmatum is found from Mauritius to Madagascar and Natal, South Africa. It has also been recorded from Mozambique (Fischer et al. 1990).
Countries occurrence:
French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); Madagascar; Mauritius; Mozambique; Réunion; South Africa
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western
Lower depth limit (metres): 60
Upper depth limit (metres): 10
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no population information available for this species. It is rare.
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is a rare species, usually encountered below 25 m and reported to 60 m. Juveniles have been reported to occur in shallower parts of its depth range and adults usually below 20 m (Lieske and Myers 1994). Jewelled Tang is seen on open reefs or over mixed sand and rubble adjacent to reefs. Territorial and nearly always solitary (Kuiter and Debelius 2001).

The sexes are separate among the acanthurids (Reeson 1983). There is a possibility of sexual dimorphism in Zebrasomas with cloacas bigger in females (Bushnell et al. 2010). This dimorphic character most probably applies to all Zebrasomas (J.H. Choat pers comm. 2010).
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Zebrasoma gemmatum is a rare component of the aquarium trade. It sells for $3,499.00 each online ( accessed 9 April 2010).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species.

Surgeonfishes show varying degrees of habitat preference and utilization of coral reef habitats, with some species spending the majority of their life stages on coral reef while others primarily utilize seagrass beds, mangroves, algal beds, and /or rocky reefs. The majority of surgeonfishes are exclusively found on coral reef habitat, and of these, approximately 80% are experiencing a greater than 30% loss of coral reef area and degradation of coral reef habitat quality across their distributions. However, more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of coral reef habitat loss and degradation on these species' populations. Widespread coral reef loss and declining habitat conditions are particularly worrying for species that recruit into areas with live coral cover, especially as studies have shown that protection of pristine habitats facilitate the persistence of adult populations in species that have spatially separated adult and juvenile habitats (Comeros-Raynal et al. 2012).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for this species. However, its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

Citation: Myers, R., Choat, J.H., Abesamis, R., Clements, K.D., McIlwain, J., Nanola, C., Rocha, L.A., Russell, B. & Stockwell, B. 2012. Zebrasoma gemmatum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2012: e.T177973A1508182. . Downloaded on 01 June 2016.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided