The yellow tang lives in coral reefs at shallow depths of 2 to 40 m, either alone or in a small group.
This benthic fish stays fairly close to the bottom, in areas rich in algae.
Its narrow snout allows it to feed on the small filamentous algae that grows between the coral, without being troubled by the latter’s venom. Although a herbivore, it eats the occasional small crustacean. It usually spawns as a group, but pairings can sometimes also be observed. The male, slightly larger than the female, is very territorial during this period, chasing away any other males that enter its territory.