Moorish Idol (Zanclus canescens)

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Moorish Idol

Moorish Idol

Zanclus canescens

473 Litres (125 US G.)

17.8-22.9cm (7-9 ")


8.1 - 8.4

25.6-26.7°C (78 -80 °F)

8-12 °d

1:1 M:F

Live Foods

1-5 years



Additional names

Moorish Idol, Gill (Finding Nemo)

Additional scientific names

Chaetodon cornutus, Chaetodon canescens, Zanclus canescens, Zanclus cornutus

Sexing[edit | edit source]

Not easy to visually sex.

Diet[edit | edit source]

Notoriously hard to keep alive in captivity due it being an extremely fussy eater. Needs a matured marine tank with plenty of algae on live rock to graze on.

Identification[edit | edit source]

There are several other marine fish, specifically Butterflyfish, that look remarkable similar to the Moorish Idol, this includes the Heniochus acuminatus. The Idol is recognised by being disc-like and compressed in shape with small snout, much like the Zebrasoma flavescens. The mouth has a v-shaped yellow marking bordered by black on either side. It's body is coloured with two thick bold vertical black bars with a white/yellow base colour, the caudal fin is also black and edged with blue. All the fins on this fish are relatively small. Except for the dorsal fin, where 6 or 7 spines are elongated creating a crest, which gives the fish it's name, "Zanclus cornutus" means "crowned scythe".

Pictures[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]