What Kind Of Fish Is Dory? Let’s Explore!

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what is a dory fish

Both ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Finding Dory’ are timeless movies that have given us some amazingly memorable characters. One of those characters was ‘Dory.’ Since these movies came out, the question like, what kind of fish is dory? Has been circulating on the internet.

The sale of blue tang fish increased drastically after the release of the Disney movies, and many children literally begged their parents to get them fish like a dory.

Unfortunately, like most tropical fish, the Pacific blue tang has not been bred in captivity, and this issue caused problems with the specie getting near extinction. But, if you are thinking about keeping a dory, you should at least do your best to learn what is a dory fish. 


What Kind Of Fish Is Dory?


Near the coral reefs, there is a small, vibrant blue fish with black stripes and a slightly yellow tail, and it is popular by its fictional name, dory.

However, the real name of our fish is unknown to many, its real name is the pacific blue tang, but it is also known by many other names like Regal Tang, Hippo Tang, Royal Blue Tang, and Palette Surgeonfish.  

Image of the pacific blue tang

This specie usually lives in the warm waters near the Pacific Oceans at a depth of 2 to 41 meters. Apart from this, they can grow a foot or 12 inches long. 

Blue tangs are one of the many sub-species of the larger fish group called Surgeonfish. These fish are popular because of their sharp spines on the tail. Their spines are closer to their bodies compared to other fish, and those spines can be extended if the blue tang ever feels threatened.

The favorite food of blue tang is plankton, algae, and other insects. They are the omnivores that help in maintaining healthy coral reefs. There is so much more to blue tang fish than them being mere dory, and this is why you need to read this guide.


Should You Keep The Blue Tang As A Pet?


It is a known fact that blue dory fish are not the kind of fish you should keep as a pet. Keeping it as a pet is not good for the fish itself and other fish in the tank because blue tangs are extremely competitive and hostile towards other fish, and they also can’t live happily in small spaces.

Instead, blue tangs are advantageous to the environment, and that is why we should let them live where they are happy, i.e., in their coral reef. 

Image of the Palette Surgeonfish The Dory

You can keep blue tang as a pet, but only if you are super experienced at keeping marine life or if you have a super large aquarium. This is because of their hostile behavior and the lack of experience of most fish owners in this particular fish type.

Another issue is that, as much as people buy blue tangs as pets, they will put the whole species in danger of extinction as the dory fish can’t be bred in captivity or on a commercial basis.

If you don’t meet the requirements of keeping blue tang, then it is not recommended that you try to keep them as pets. However, if someone wants to own a pet fish inspired by ‘Finding Dory,’ you should try to get some other fish. 

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 Other Appearances Of Dory


Once a character from animated movies becomes a popular sensation, it is bound to appear in other places, apart from their own franchises, since Dory was one of the first female protagonists of Pixar and one of the most iconic characters of all time. 

This is why Dory wasn’t only in ‘Finding Nemo’ and ‘Finding Dory’ but was also seen in LEGO; the incredible video game, and also in the documentary based on the life of Marlin and Nemo.

The documentary is like a BTS of the franchise. In the documentary, the narrator is interrupted by Dory while he tells the viewers about the reef. 

Then we can also see dory as an emoji in ‘As Told by Emoji.’ If you still want more of Dory, there are always her ‘Dory’s Reef Cam’ wallpapers.  

Dory impacted millions of adults, kids, and teens that we see her almost everywhere, where there is a talk of animated characters.


9 Fun Facts About The Blue Tang


Blue tangs are one of the most interesting sea creatures out there, which can baffle us when we learn about them.

Now that you already know what type of fish is the dory, it is time for us to learn some fun facts about these amazing fish. We will discuss nine of the most amazing fun facts about blue dory fish.

  1. Nature has bestowed blue tangs the ability to change their body hues from light blue to deep purple and most shades in between. 
  2. Perciformes is the scientific order of blue tang, and it is the largest vertebrate order which contains 148 families and more than 9,300 separate species.
  3. Blue tang’s flesh is very poisonous, so they are not prey.
  4. Blue tangs are usually seen swimming in big schools. And over the top of the reef, feeding on algae. 
  5. Blue tangs are omnivores. They eat both algae and plankton.
  6. These fish have a very pointy and sharp spine which is also a type of defense mechanism for them.
  7. The spine of the dory fish is a modified scale located at the lateral edge of the caudal peduncle. These spines are made so that the fish may stand erect and make them fast swimmers. 
  8. Blue tangs are native fish to the coral reef, especially in the Indo-Pacific. 
  9. The color patterns of these fish are not reliable or not the same for every fish. Instead, it greatly varies, some blue tangs are blue (obviously), but some juvenile blue tangs are lemon yellow.

These were some fun facts about our popular blue dory fish. Now let’s move on to other important aspects of what is dory fish.


How Much Is A Blue Tang Fish?


The price of blue tang fish greatly depends on:

  • The season in which you are buying it
  • The place you are buying it from
  • The size of the fish and
  • Its rarity level

Usually, blue tang fish can cost you anything from $60 to $260, and it all depends on the factors I mentioned above.

If you buy blue tang fish in the off-season (meaning that it is not their breeding season), a small-sized, and from a cheap place, then there are chances you will get the fish for $70 to $80. But if you reverse these conditions, you might find the fish for more than $200.


What Do The Blue Tangs Eat?


Now, moving on from our question of what is Dori, we are asking what do these fish eat? So, let me ask you something to answer your question about the diet of blue tang fish.

Have you ever wondered why these fish live near the coral reefs? They live near the reefs because that place is ideal for their diet. Blue tangs eat algae thriving on the reefs and invertebrates which live near it.   

Image of two blue tang fish

This is a cycle where coral reefs want blue tang to clean them of their algae which can suffocate them, and blue tangs need algae to stay healthy. This means that blue tangs eating algae keeps both the reef and the fish healthy. 

Apart from the algae, blue tang also eats planktons. Usually, they grow on planktons when juvenile, but they keep on eating both things when they grow up.

This makes them certified omnivores, just like most of us!  These blue creatures don’t have a gizzard, and this is why they don’t eat calcareous things like corals. 


Final Verdict:

By now, you must have understood and guessed that the question about ‘what kind of fish is dory’ has more to it than just the specie of the fish. This is a vast topic that needs extensive research and jotting down time so that we might write everything there is about the blue tangs. 

But, if we talk about an overview, then I would say that blue tang fish is one of the most beautiful creations of God. They have these vibrant colors, which can mesmerize anyone.

However, this beauty looks beautiful from a distance because these fish are deadly. Their flesh is poisonous, and their spines are so sharp that no predator dares to make blue dory fish their prey.

But, on the other hand, they are super aggressive, and their flesh is laced with cyanide, which means that they are literal time bombs that can explode as soon as anyone tries to hurt them. 

Blue tangs might inspire the fictional dory in appearance, but she was nothing like the real blue tang; because of her lovable character.


Frequently Asked Questions

#1 – What is a dory fish?

Dory is the female protagonist of Disney’s ‘Finding Dory’ the real-life counterpart is the Indo-Pacific Blue Tang Fish.

This fish is also known as the ‘Paracanthurus hepatu,’ its scientific name. But, its other names are hippo tang, royal blue tang, regal tang, and palette surgeonfish.

#2 – What type of fish is dory?

Dory is a foot-long, vibrant blue and yellow fish with black stripes on its body. Even though Dory is shown to be a loveable and adorable fish in Disney’s movie, in reality, it is far from being adorable and lovable.

Instead, the real-life dory is hostile, aggressive, and poisonous against other fish. They are not friendly at all! Sadly, nothing like our fictional dory.

#3 – Where are Dory fish from?

Dory is a native of the Indian Pacific Ocean. They can be found in the clear salt waters which surround the coral reef.

They inhabit the warm waters of the Indian Pacific, which are stretched from the eastern coasts of Africa to the American Samoa Islands. 

#4 – Is Dory high in mercury?

Blue tang fish have poisonous flesh, but they don’t have mercury content in them. Instead, their flesh is poisonous because of cyanide coating their flesh. It is a defense mechanism that allows the blue tang to stay out of every predator’s dinner menu. 

#5 – Is Dory a freshwater fish?

No, Dory is not a freshwater fish. They are strictly saltwater fish because they live peacefully amongst the coral reefs, crabs, shrimps, clams, and many other invertebrates. Dory can barely survive in freshwater bodies.

#6 – Is Dory a flounder?

No, Dory is a part of the Surgeonfish family and is a blue tang fish. It has nothing to do with a flounder because the flounder belongs to the Achiropsettida and Pleuronectidae families.

#7 – Is Dory a poisonous fish?

Yes, like every other saltwater fish, dory is also highly poisonous. It uses cyanide to make its flesh poisonous.

This is their defense mechanism to protect them from potential threats. Every blue tang fish that lives in the wild or has been caught from the wild will be poisonous.

However, the amazing thing is that they don’t poison their surroundings. Instead, they only kill their predator whenever any creature tries to eat them.

#8 – Is Dory an angelfish?

No, Dory is a part of the Surgeonfish family and is a blue tang fish or royal blue tang. It has no connection with angelfish because they are both from different families. Angelfish belongs to the Cichlid family.

#9 – Is Dory a catfish?

No, Dory is a part of the Surgeonfish family, and its real name is blue tang fish. It has nothing to do with catfish, and honestly, both these fish don’t even look alike because catfish belong to the Ictaluridae family. There is no connection between the Surgeonfish family and the Ictaluridae family.

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