Fish of Hawaii: Kihikihi

20 07 2015
photo by Mila Zinkova taken in Kona

photo by Mila Zinkova taken in Kona

The Moorish Idol, Zanclus cornutus, called Kinikihi in Hawaiian, stands out in contrasting bands of black, white and yellow. They have relatively small fins so they prefer shallow reef waters and lagoons. Like the butterfly fishes, Moorish Idols mate for life. They often school as juveniles. Adult males tend to be aggressive toward one another.

They grow up to eight inches in length and are not long lived in captivity although they are popular aquarium fish.

The Moors in Africa believe them to be fish of happiness and with their colorful bodies and graceful patterns you can see why they bring a smile.

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