Moorish Idol

Moorish Idol

 

Moorish Idol © WiseOceans

Moorish Idol © WiseOceans

Moorish Idol (Zanclus canescens) are not in the Surgeonfish family but they are often associated with them.  Moorish Idol are in fact in a family all of their own with only this one species.  They were named by Moors who thought the fish were ‘bringers of happiness’.  It is believed they mate for life.  ‘Gill” in ‘Finding Nemo’ is a Moorish Idol.

The Moorish Idol has three thick black and two yellow bars along the length of its body, with a long trailing dorsal fin filament, which can be double the length of its body. They also have a yellow saddle marking with a black outline over their snout. They are usually found alone or in pairs close to the reef.  It is wonderful but rare to see them in schools. Moorish idol have been known to reach up to 16cm.  They are very hard to keep in captivity

All photos © WiseOceans unless otherwise stated

 

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