Fish Guide

Moorish Idol   (Zanclus cornutus)
Family: Zanclidae (Moorish Idol)
Natural Range: Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific Region, Pacific Ocean
Depth: 10 to 600 ft.   Size: 7 in.   Jumps: No   Space: 100+ gal.
Reef Safe: Caution   Care Level: Difficult   Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Encrusting crustaceans, sponges, tunicates, algae
Natural History: The Moorish Idol is found on rocky or coral reefs, lagoons, and reef flats. Adults are observed singly, in pairs, or in schools. This species has a very long pelagic larval stage that allows it to disperse to many oceanic reefs with little genetic variation.
Husbandry: The Moorish Idol may be difficult to acclimate to captivity. It may require chopped shrimp, squid, blackworms or other fresh fare. Macroalgae should be chopped and offered along with other fare. They are generally peaceful fish. Males may be aggressive toward other male Moorish Idols. There should be live rock forming refuges that it can hide in when threatened. A Moorish Idol may pick at the polyps of stony corals.

AKA: Crowned Scythe

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