The False Moorish Idol

Bannerfish are one of the most commonly seen fish amongst the Pacific reef community. Often referred to as false Moorish idols, bannerfish are easily distinguishable by their less ornate black, yellow, and white striping and smaller snout. There are two types of bannerfish, both native to the Indo-Pacific region: longfin and schooling bannerfish. These relatively small reef fish can grow to a maximum length of 18-21 cm.

Although they look very similar and are hard to distinguish from each other to the untrained eye, you can quickly determine which of the two species you are diving with based on their behavior. If you are diving with bannerfish congregated together on one spot of the reef in large numbers, they are schooling bannerfish. If, however, you only see one or two swimming around, they are most likely the longfin bannerfish. Check out the dive site map below to see where you can go diving with bannerfish.