Home > Fishes > Zanclus cornutus

Updated 3/11/2014

Family Zanclidae

Moorish Idol

The Moorish Idol is related to Surgeonfishes and Tangs sharing the same tough skin, tiny scales, and brush-like teeth ideal for grazing upon sponges and hydroids.  In Hawaii they are found singly or in small groups.  There is only one species.

 

HAWAII

Zanclus cornutus

Makena, Maui, 25 feet

 

Palea Point, Oahu, 25 feet

Sea Tiger Wreck, Oahu, 95 feet

Juveniles, Ft. Kamehemeha, Oahu, 4 feet

 

Sea Tiger Wreck, Oahu, 95 feet

Juvenile, Ft. Kamehemeha, Oahu, 4 feet

 

Kewalo Pipe, Oahu, 50 feet

 

Molokini Back Wall, 50 feet

100-foot Hole, Waikiki, Oahu, 85 feet

 



Double thread, Blowhole, Oahu, 20 feet

Juvenile, Makapu'u, Oahu, 15 feet

 

 MOORISH IDOL        kihikihi

Common on reefs at any depth singly or in small groups.  Scales are minute and not visible to the naked eye when compared to the Pennantfish, Heniochus.  Feeds upon sponge and encrusting invertebrates.  Attains 9 inches.  Hawaii, Indo-Pacific, Tropical Eastern Pacific.  Zanclus canescens is a synonym.