Can Anyone Help Identify This Aitutaki, Cook Islands Fish?

by Sharon Ayres
(Wilder, Idaho USA)

I got a photo of this shy fish while snorkeling at Aitutaki, Cook Islands. I have tried to identify it with my books and assorted web pages and keep coming up blank. The Long Nosed Butterflyfish is as close as I have gotten, but he isn't long nose and his colors are reversed from some photos. Maybe it's a juvenile?

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Dec 26, 2016
We think we know it...
by: Nicole & Galen

It was the white spine near the tail that got us to look at the surgeonfish, tang, unicornfish family. We are pretty sure it is the Zebrasoma scopas, with common names Brushtail Tang or Two-Tone Tang. There are pictures on the Reef Guide and Marine Life Photography sites.

Does that look right to you? Anyone else?

Dec 27, 2016
Yea! We know!
by: Sharon

Thank you so much, my books had nothing like it in them. The white spine and coloration kept me from thinking I had it and so far this looks like it. We will have to see if we can relocate it on our next visit.

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