Species Details

Details of Pennant coralfish will be displayed below

Pennant coralfish   

Common Name: Bannerfish, Coachman, Featherfin Coralfish, Longfin Bannerfish, Pennant Bannerfish, Pennant Coralfish, Pennant Coralfish, Reef Bannerfish, Wimple Fish
Scientific Name: Heniochus acuminatus
Local Name: Dhidhamas'bibee
Dhivehi Name: ދިދަމަސްބިބީ
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Chaetodontidae  (Family)
Heniochus   (Genus)

Pennant coralfish's description

The reef bannerfish is a small-sized fish that can reach a maximum length of 25 cm. However, the average size generally observed in the nature oscillates around 15 cm. Its body is compressed laterally, the first rays of its dorsal fin stretch in a long white filament. The background color of its body is white with two large black diagonal bands. Beyond the second black stripe, the dorsal and the caudal fins are yellow. The pectoral fins are also yellow. Dorsal spines (total): 11 - 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 22-27; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 17 - 19. The head is white, the eyes are black and linked together by a black band. The snout, spotted with black, is a bit stretched with a small terminal protractile (it can be extend) mouth. The juvenile doesn't have yet after the second black stripe any white area like adults.

Pennant coralfish's facts

Did you know?

  • The pennant coralfish can easily be confused with the quite similar schooling bannerfish,( Heniochus diphreutes ). The main and visible differences are: a longer snout for the reef bannerfish and spots on its snout are darker, the pelvic fin of the reef bannerfish is longer and has a rounded end unlike the schooling bannerfish which has a smaller and more angular end.

Pennant coralfish's Behavior & Ecology

The pennant coralfish lives in pairs and is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific from the eastern coast of Africa, Red Sea included, to Polynesia and from south Japan to the south of the Great Barrier Reef. The reef bannerfish likes relatively deep waters from protected lagoon, channels or outer reef slopes from 15 to 75 meters deep. Juveniles are solitary and can feed by cleaning other fishes.

Pennant coralfish's Feeding

The pennant coralfish feeds on zooplankton in the water column and occasionally benthic invertebrates.

Pennant coralfish's Reproduction

Form pairs during breeding

Pennant coralfish's Conservation

There do not appear to be any current threats to this species and it is listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.

Pennant coralfish's Relationship with Humans

In some geographic area the pennant coralfish is harvested for the aquarium trade and it is commonly sold as a cheaper alternative to the Moorish idol, which is considered to be nearly impossible for most hobbyists to keep.

Pennant coralfish habitat

This species is associated with coral and rocky reefs, and is often found in deep lagoon areas and outer reef slopes, although animals may inhabit shallower water in protected reef areas. Adults occur alone, in pairs or sometimes in small groups, almost always swimming close to the reef substrate. The species feeds mostly on plankton, but supplements this diet with benthic invertebrates. Juveniles are solitary and have been observed picking parasites from other fishes (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Pennant coralfish threats

This species is intensively harvested for the aquarium industry within the Philippines (K. Carpenter pers. comm. 2009), however there appear to be no overall major threats to this widespread species (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Pennant coralfish's status