Bahamas Blue Tang

The Blue Tang, or surgeonfish, is a common sight in Nassau Bahamas snorkeling. You'll see schools of them everywhere. They are very pretty fish, and their color ranges from a very pale blue to a very deep blue. Juveniles are easy to spot, as they go through several stages - yellow at first, blue but with yellow tails, and then the adult stage, which is totally blue. Yellow juveniles have blue rings around the eyes.

This is a fish that is best looked at and not touched - Blue Tang have a caudal spine that is very sharp. When the fish feels in danger, the spine comes out. This can result in deep cuts and may even become infected. Some Blue Tang even have poisonous spines, making it even more important that you look at this fish but don't touch. If stung or cut, seek medical attention immediately.

The Blue Tang cannot be eaten, either. They have a very unpleasant smell, and are poisonous if eaten, so they are not commercially fished, except to use as bait. Even this is not done very often, so there are plenty of these fish for viewing. They are plentiful in the waters of the Bahamas.