Zanclus cornutus  (Linnaeus, 1758)

Moorish idol
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Image of Zanclus cornutus (Moorish idol)
Zanclus cornutus
Picture by Field, R.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Zanclidae (Moorish idol)
Etymology: Zanclus: Greek, za = an aumentative particle + Greek, agklino = to be on one´s back (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 182 m (Ref. 9710), usually 5 - 182 m (Ref. 27115).   Subtropical; 24°C - 28°C (Ref. 27115); 32°N - 37°S, 31°E - 70°W

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 23.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 6113); common length : 21.0 cm NG male/unsexed; (Ref. 5755)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 6 - 7; Dorsal soft rays (total): 39-43; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 31 - 37. Strongly compressed discoid body. Tubular snout with a small mouth containing numerous elongate bristle-like teeth. Dorsal spines elongated into a whip-like filament.

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: East Africa to Rapa and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to the Lord Howe Island. Eastern Pacific: southern Gulf of California to Peru (Ref. 9267).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Inhabit turbid inner lagoons, reef flats, and clear seaward rocky and coral reefs (Ref. 1602, 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Generally encountered in small groups of 2 or 3 individuals (Ref. 9267). Adults occur singly, in pairs and occasionally are seen in large schools (Ref. 48637). Feed on small encrusting animals (Ref. 6113). Size of metamorphosis from postlarva to juvenile is 7.5 cm (Ref. 9267). The long pelagic larval stage is the reason for the wide distribution and strong colouration that shows no geographical variation (Ref. 48637). Popular aquarium fish but rarely survives in tanks (Ref. 1602).

Life cycle and mating behavior Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator | Collaborators

Myers, R.F., 1991. Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 1.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00677 - 0.04463), b=3.06 (2.84 - 3.28), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)Family-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  2.5   ±0.00 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Unknown.