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Species: Zanclus cornutus, Moorish Idol

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small horns over eyes
body round, v compressed
broad black & white bars
D: front - very long filament
snout long, slender

Zanclus cornutus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Moorish Idol

Body round, strongly compressed; snout long, slender, pointed; mouth small, the teeth slender and slightly incurved; a pair of bony horns before eyes; dorsal fin VII, 40-43, long filament from 3rd spine; anal rays III, 33-35; pectoral rays 19; tail base without spines or keels; tail fin concave.

White anteriorly, yellow posteriorly, with two broad black bars, one from the nape to thorax, the other on the rear of the body and the dorsal and anal fins; dorsal fin filament white; a black, orange-bordered saddle on the snout; tail fin black, with white rear edge.

Size: to 30 cm

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 3-182 m.

Indo-Pacific; introduced to SE Florida.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Continental primarily
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 3
Depth Range Max
  • 182