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Moorish Idol

Moorish Idol is the only species in the Zanclidae family. They are widely distributed in Indo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific waters. They have a strongly compressed body that almost resembles the butterflyfishes. They have tubular snout with a small mouth containing numerous elongate bristle-like teeth. Their dorsal spines are elongated into a whip-like filament. They also have similarity with surgeonfishes where their larvae live for a long time in the open sea. They are found in turbid inner lagoons, reef flats, and clear seaward rocky and coral reefs. They mainly feed on sponges and benthic invertebrates.

Scientific Name: Zanclus cornutus  (Linnaeus, 1758)
English Name: Moorish Idol
Mandarin Name | 鱼类中文名: 角镰鱼 (Jiǎo lián yú), 灰镰鱼 (Huī lián yú)
Local Malay Name: Bagang Moorish, Ikan Layang-layang
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Hias, Tatape Rambai
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาผีเสื้อเทวรูป (Plā p̄hīs̄eụ̄̂x thewrūp), ปลาโนรีเทวรูป (Plā norī thewrūp)
Main Identification Features: Body very deep, with broad black bars. Snout narrow and strongly protruding, with a black-edged orange saddle-like marking.
Size: Maximum total length 23 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Lagoons to coral reefs, to 180 m depth. Found singly, in pairs, small groups and occasionally large schools. Omnivourous but mainly feeds on sponges and benthic invertebrates.