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Desjardin's Sailfin Tang

Desjardin's Sailfin Tang
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-09-10
Categories: Fish
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 200, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Fishes from around the world, Underwater World #2, 40-49 points, Different Fish, A study in Ichthyology (fish) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, Underwater Wonder World 1, RARE or SIGNIFICANT contributions to TN 2, My Dedications ;o) [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-09-17 6:21
Viewed: 11312
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 46
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Desjardin's sailfin tang - Zebrasoma desjardinii

This one is for Janice – a great friend.

After sitting at home for almost 2 months recovering from my knee-replacement, I obviously could not wait for my first trip outdoors to put my camera at work before it started to rust. I could not choose a better place than Durban's uShaka Marine World with a unique shipwreck-themed aquarium (the 5th largest in the world by volume of water) with 500 metres of viewing tanks which includes seven massive aquarium tanks and 25 smaller marine exhibits. It is the first photo of this species on TrekNature.

Taxonomic Classification

: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes).
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-likes).
FAMILY: Acanthuridae (Surgeon fishes, tangs, unicorn fishes).

Surgeonfish get their name from the very sharp scales at the base of their tails. When threatened, they can swim backwards at an enemy, raising these scales like a knife! These fish, along with other herbivores, are important to keeping coral reefs healthy by preventing the overgrowth of algae.

The Desjardin's Sailfin Tang, also known as the Indian Ocean Sailfin Tang or Red Sea Sailfin Tang, is dark to very light grey in color with light freckles on the nose and yellow freckles on the abdomen. The body has several, varying sized vertical yellow to orange stripes with intricate markings between the stripes at the face. It has a blue tail with white freckles. Its appearance can practically double in size at will by raising or lowering its sizable dorsal and anal fins. One of the largest members of the Zebrasoma family; may grow to a maximum length of 40cm. Juvenile coloration of the Desjardinii and Veleferum tangs are fairly similar. The adult Zebrasoma desjardinii will change stripes for spots and lightens in colour while Zebrasoma veliferum stays the same colour as the juvenile Zebrasoma desjardinii.

Indian Ocean: Red Sea south to KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa and east to India, Java, and Cocos-Keeling Islands, but not Christmas Island.

One of the least aggressive members of the family. Though they get along with other fish they will most likely be harassed by other tangs in the Acanthurus genus.

Found in tropical lagoons and seaward coral or rock reefs in strong currents to depths greater then 30m; juveniles in sheltered inner reef areas while adults usually occur in pairs.

Primarily macroalgae and seaweed. Although they are mainly herbivorous, they will eat brine shrimp, mysid shrimp and other meaty treats. They spend most of their time grazing algae along the coral reef.

The fish are pair spawners, a typical trait of other fish in the Zebrasoma genus. This differs from the group spawning typical of the Acanthuridae family.

Manta rays and reef sharks.

Not endangered. Source.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

parvulescubio, horia, Janice, Matt-Bird, uleko, ellis49, ramthakur, marjan, dew77, manyee, scottevers7, coasties, Aaltjie, jmp, SkyF, greghume, pilonm, marhowie, thor68, Luc, Dyker, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna, betsie has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Loot
very clear image in difficulty conditions.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-09-17 7:26]

Hi Loot

This is a splendid picture and it looks fantastic, considering you tool it through glass.
But first of all i would like to welcome you back and wish you all the health in the world:)
The fish looks very beautiful and is also vastly presented :)
Its colors are stunning...does he have neon lights implanted? :))


Hi Loot,
Very clear image with beautiful colours. Good photo, regards

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-09-17 7:59]

Beautiful shot, taken through glass I suppose. Very clever and so sharp. Amazing pattern and colours of the fish.
TFS, Ulla

Hi Loot,
just pop in for a sec to welcome you back.
I hope everything went well with the knee-replacement.
Beautiful fish wiht lovely colours ans good details.
Well done, my friend.

Hi Loot!
Welcome back to the TN. Hope your knee is back into shape.
Though my interest in and awareness of marine life are limited (thanks to my origins in the mountains of India), your images of it leave me spellbound.
I love the beauty of this sea creature you have posted today. I have gone through your note with avid interest, my intention being to start learning about the infinite storehouse of life that exists under water.
Thanks for your lucid and precise note on this fish. I have learned a great deal from it.
Thanks for sharing this great image with an equally great note.

On dirait un poisson de verre.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • marjan Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 459 W: 14 N: 366] (2685)
  • [2006-09-17 14:42]

hi Lot, very cleare shot. gooc position and moment for it. Exceletn coloures nad "model"

Very good play of colors. Very good info. I like it.
Regards, Krzysztof.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-09-17 15:59]

Hello Loot,
Magnificent capture of this colourfull fish.Clear details,POV,sharpness and composition are wonderful.Exposure is spot on.Excellent work!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-09-17 16:23]

Hi Loot, thank you my friend, and it is good to have you back again.
The acquarium sounds a great place to visit. I hope the knee held up for you.
And your Surgeonfish / tang / unicorn fish has come out really good through the glass. What wonderful colours and patterns it has. And the fellow is looking right at you too. Good job, and good news having you here,
Kia ora

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-09-17 20:36]
  • [2]

Hello Loot,
Welcome back! : )
I have been holding my breath in anticipation for the promised aquarium shots,
so I guess I can breathe now. Phew! : )
What a magnificent specimen, though I could not help but note the ironic choice of your first post back from your surgery: a surgeonfish!
You could not have chosen a better model. The POV is perfect.
You managed to get the light just right, not an easy task in an aquarium through glass and with all kinds of reflections. The colors just jump out at you, in gorgeous patterns and super sharp details.
The eye contact is just marvelous. A masterpiece!
I am really happy to see a post from you again, my friend.
It has been way too long. TFS. : )

Hi Loot,
Welome back to posting. I have really missed you and your work! An excellent shot on this tropical beauty. The colors and detail in this fish are superb. Clarity is just amazing under the conditions you worked under. Great camera work my friend. As usual, your notes are the best!

Hello Loot

How nice to see a post from you. I hope you are feeling better and the knee replacment went well. This is a lovely tribute to Janice. She is a great lady! Keep well. TFS.

Bravo! Bravo!
Welke het overweldigende posten. Een mooie kleurrijke vis. Een combinatie strepen en punten. Dergelijk perfect detail in alle aspecten. Het koraal op de achtergrond is verbazend en benadrukt zelfs meer de vissen. Blijk enkel te tonen - u bent een briljante fotograaf. Ik heb van uw nota's gebruikelijk genoten. Als iedereen nota's als van u kon omvatten, zou deze website niet alleen een fotografische expierence maar ook een het leren ervaring zijn. Niet hebben wij allemaal de kennis over hoe alles in aard samen komt en hoe het werkt. Dank u plunderen voor het verbreden van mijn kennis via uw nota's en verhalen. Het is zeker een genoegen dat uw foto'svriendelijke groeten en dank voor het delen van uw talenten met mensen als mij onderzoekt.
Gewaardeerd veel.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-09-18 16:57]

Hi Loot,
I'm pleased to see your very good photos again! I have hit my knee and I remember you a lot. I hope you can walk to your favorites places to take photos again.
Neat image with very good light, colors and a beautiful fish.
Best regards,
José M.

Hola Loot,
Muy linda foto de acuario, realmente a salido muy bien. Los colores y detalles, asi como la iluminación son muy buenos a pesar del cristal. Ayer fui a un zoológico con un hermoso acuario con peces autóctonos, pero no se permitía hacer fotos con flash para no perturbar a los peces y causarle ceguera momentánea por carcer de párpados.
Interesante y completa nota.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-09-19 7:05]

Hello Loot,
nice to see you up and about. Your camera does not seem to have rusted ;-). Great capture, aquarium shots are usually very difficult I find., but you managed so well. Great clear image with geourgeous colors and sharpness. DOF is excellent and you even managed to archive some depth in this composition.
Great work.

Hello Loot
Welcome back - glad to see your post. Your posts from aquaria are an inspiration to me to keep trying for better results under difficult conditions. Color, composition and sharpness are all first rate along with an interesting note. Regards.

Hello Loot,
Superb picture. Excellent sharpness with vivid colors. Good news to hear that your knee replacement went well. Congratulations,

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2006-09-20 16:34]

Hi Loot

Great colours and nice details especially considering how difficult it is to shoot at aquariums. Lovely composition.

Lovely to see you posting again



Hello Loot,

What a remarkable picture of this very colorful fish. You used the flash like a master! The color are wonderful and the exposition: perfect! I like the little spark within its eye! Great bg with this pretty pink rock! Excellent post and TFS,


Hi Loot,
This is another very nice shot in your series of these wonderfully colored "herbivores". Looks great, and stands out very well in your close-crop frame with coral BG.
Nicely done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-05-19 5:28]

Hello Loot
I am sure Janice must have appreciated this dedication tremendously, because it is such a lovely little fish and you really caught it in a fabulous pose in front of that lovely pink coral. As you can see I am still busy with your "Ichthyology" gallery and enjoying every moment of it. What is so nice about it is that since you are obviously a master at this technique, I do not have to rack my brains to find something to advice you on or I do not have to search for any shortcomings in the photo to address. From my vantage point it looks quite perfect in every respect. All the body details on the fish are clear as a result of the perfect focus, the colours are striking, the exposure is well balanced, and everything else is quite dandy.

Hallo Loot
The details on the patterns and markings on this Sailfin are magnificent. It looks like a painting that got soaked with water and the paint ran into all directions forming gorgeous stripes and linings. What a beauty with its details well highlighted with the lovely pink and purple coral in the background. A super sharp, well focused and excellently composed image, true to the Loot's style of photography. A sheer delight to look at and a feast to the eye. Thanks for sharing. Love.

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