Yellow tang settle out of a planktonic larval stage to mid-depth (10 to 25 m) reef habitats that tend to have high coral cover. Adult yellow tang (AYT) transition at around 13 to 15 cm total length to spending their days foraging in shallower (<10 m) turf-algae dominated boulder and reef flat habitats, while sheltering at night in deeper coral rich and boulder habitats.
Each morning, shortly after sunrise, adult yellow tang migrate to shallow turf algae dominated boulder and reef flat habitats to forage over the same few hundred meters squared. These foraging sites are maintained for periods of at least weeks to months. About 1 hour before sunset, they migrate to individual specific spawning locations before moving to nighttime sheltering sites in deeper coral rich and boulder dominated habitats.
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