What Kinda Fish Is Dory
Since she first appeared in Finding Nemo, Marlin's popular sidekick Dory became a total phenomenon, so much so that she got her own sequel, Finding Dory.
Though we know Marlin and Nemo are clownfish, you might be wondering,
What about Dory?
Come dive in as we explore all you need to know about Dory!
What Kind Of Fish Is Dory From Finding Nemo?
Dory is a royal blue tang fish.
It's okay if you thought she was another kind of fish, as there are tons of blue fish in the ocean that look very similar. For example, the Atlantic blue tang and the powder blue surgeonfish look very similar to the royal blue tang.
Royal blue tangs go by names including the flagtail surgeonfish, the hippo tang, and the palette surgeonfish. They also go by their scientific name, paracanthurus hepatus.
The name of the blue tang is a bit misleading, as this kind of fish isn't always blue. When there is no light during the night to reflect off of its body, it has unique violet touches.
Blue Tang Facts
Royal blue tang fish are found swimming in reefs in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. While they are relatively small fish compared to other fish in the ocean, they are larger than clownfish.
Strangely enough, royal blue tangs are very poisonous, which is why it's not a good idea to try and eat one.
The blue tang is known for its blue body, black stripes, and yellow tail. In fact, blue tangs are completely yellow when they are young.
They belong to the surgeonfish family, which has more than 70 species. Blue tangs have spines that they hold close to their bodies that they can extend whenever they feel threatened or agitated.
When blue tangs are young, they exclusively feed on plankton. However, when they reach adulthood, they become omnivores, eating plankton, algae, and other invertebrates.
They spend a majority of their time in coral reefs, hiding among the coral branches in crevices and holes to avoid larger predators, such as groupers, bar jacks, and tuna.
Why Did The Creators of Finding Nemo Choose A Royal Blue Tang for Dory?
The filmmakers of Finding Nemo felt the royal blue tang would be an excellent choice because it lacks identity, very similar to the way Dory has short-term memory in the film.
However, Dory also shares a very real personality trait with blue tangs, which is that they are very free-spirited.
Royal Blue Tangs As Pets
The clownfish industry boomed when Finding Nemo came out. The same thing happened with turtles when Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles came out.
Unfortunately, many people weren't prepared to take care of these pets, which is why many of them were neglected.
After Finding Dory came out, there were plenty of fans who wanted to go out and purchase blue tangs.
However, scientists tried to warn against this, as blue tangs have critical roles in their natural habitats.
Blue tangs live in coral reefs and spend time grazing the algae. Thanks to their large stature, they keep coral reefs from overcrowding. It is not recommended to have a blue tang as a pet. Without the blue tang living in coral reefs, the reefs could experience algae build-up, which would decrease reef health and upset the food chain.
Beyond that, blue tangs can grow to almost a foot long, meaning you would need a serious tank to support them.
If that's not enough for you, here are a few other reasons why you should not have a blue tang as a pet:
Unfortunately, many fishermen that go out to capture blue tang use cyanide to bring them up. Cyanide is extremely damaging to the water and the environment, destroying coral reefs and killing other fish.
The good thing is that studies performed after the release of Finding Dory failed to gather any evidence that people were purchasing these fish following the movie's release.
Where Did Dory Get Her Name?
The filmmakers in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory were very clever when naming the characters.
A marlin fish is a real fish with a very adventurous spirit, a complete contrast to Marlin's character in the movie, who is very risk-averse. Nemo's name was derived from Captain Nemo, who was one of the main characters in Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea.
Bruce, the shark, got his name from the shark in Jaws, who was also named Bruce, and Bloat the pufferfish got his name from his ability to bloat up!
So, you might be wondering, where did Dory get her name?
A dory fish is a type of fish with a flat, wide-body and massive eyes. The regal tang is a type of dory fish.
FUN FACT: The blue tang fish has an impeccable memory, which is a huge contrast to Dory in the film, who has a horrible short-term memory.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Blue Tangs Poisonous?
Blue tangs carry a toxin called ciguatera, which makes them poisonous fish. If you get slightly exposed to a blue tang's poison, you will probably experience limited symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting.
However, if you are severely exposed to their poison, you may experience more serious symptoms like breathing problems, heart problems, hallucinations, muscle aches, and headaches.
Is Dory An Angelfish?
Dory is a Pacific blue tang fish, not an angelfish.
However, it's easy for people to confuse these two fish, as they both have regal blue colors.
Are Blue Tangs Aggressive?
If you based your knowledge of blue tangs on Dory, you'd probably think they were the nicest, most light-hearted fish in the ocean. However, contrary to Dory's role and her innocent behavior, they are incredibly aggressive fish that won't tolerate any kind of fish that look like them.
When spawning or feeding, these fish can get even more aggressive, which is one more reason why they do not make good pets.
What Is The Blue Tang Lifespan?
A blue tang will live anywhere between 8 to 20 years on average. However, when in captivity, their lifespans are often much shorter, as they are typically in tanks that aren't as supportive.
Want more Finding Nemo Fun? Head over to our Bruce Finding Nemo article!