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Convict and Yellow Tang Fish

Convict Tangs (in picture) and Yellow Tangs are similar in shape but have differing color patterns. Both reside in Hanauma Bay and are found in the shallow regions of the water. They stick to oxygen-enriched areas because of the algae growth.

These fish feed on the fine, filamentous algae that grow on rocks and stones that have good sunlight exposure. Their main diet consists of marine algae and they spend most of their day grazing. You’ll find them along the underwater rocky regions of Hanauma Bay where algae grow.

They are somewhat territorial fish, and will defend a certain hiding place from intruders. Keep this in mind when you are snorkeling so you can be wary of leaving their hiding places alone. They travel in small schools and stick close together.

Both varieties of the Tang Fish had arrow-like body shapes. This is due to their dorsal and ventral fins being almost an extension of their bodies. In addition, they have long snout-like mouths used to eat the algae off rocks.

Convict and Yellow Tang Fish Characteristics

Both types of fish are very popular in salt-water aquarium setups, so you may already be familiar with their appearance. The yellow tang fish is easily recognizable by its lemon yellow color. They are yellow throughout their body, generally with no variation in color. When these fish are sleeping or stressed, a white line appears on the flanks of the fish, so you can tell if you are invading their space. They are very thin fish and are only 3 to 5 inches in length and height and less than 1 inch thick.

Convict Tangs, also called Manini by the Hawaiian people, are much less bright and colorful. They have a light grey/green body above and are cream or white on their underbellies. They have six black vertical bands on their body. This variation helps camouflage them from predators. Manini are bigger than yellow tangs and are about seven to eight inches on average.