Pennant Coralfish – Profile | Traits | Diet | Behavior | Care

Pennant coralfish
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The pennant coralfish, scientific name Heniochus acuminatus, often known as the longfin bannerfish, reef bannerfish, or coachman, is a species of fish of the family Chaetodontidae, native to the Indo-Pacific area.

Pennant coralfish Profile

Distribution- Indo-Pacific: East Africa and the Persian Gulf to the Society Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. Throughout Micronesia.

The Three-band Pennant Butterflyfish, often known as the Three-band Pennant Coralfish and Pennant Bannerfish, has a tall dorsal backbone elongated right into a feather-shaped pennant. It has a white body with three vertical brown bands and one eye stripe. There is a splash of yellow on the mouth.

It requires a 125 gallon or bigger aquarium that has a rocky aquascape with overhangs or caves for shelter. It could also be saved in pairs if each is launched to the aquarium at the same time.

The Three-band Pennant Butterflyfish will acclimate higher if the tank mates are small and docile. An aquarium with a live rock could be helpful. It might nip at sessile invertebrates together with corals. Use warning if housing this species within the reef aquarium.

Its diet ought to include herbivore preparations and quite a lot of meaty gadgets.

Pennant coralfish Description

Dorsal spines (total): 11 – 12; Dorsal tender rays (total): 22-27; Anal spines: 3; Anal tender rays: 17 – 19.

The pennant coralfish is a small-sized fish that may attain the most size of 25 cm. However, the average size usually noticed in nature oscillates round 15 cm.

Its body is compressed laterally, the first rays of its dorsal fin stretch in a long white filament. The background shade of its body is white with two massive black diagonal bands.

Beyond the second black stripe, the dorsal and the caudal fins are yellow. The pectoral fins are additionally yellow. The head is white, the eyes are black and linked collectively by a black band. The snout, spotted with black, is a bit stretched with a small terminal protractile (it may be prolonged) mouth.

The juvenile does not have but after the second black stripe any white space like adults.

The pennant coralfish can simply be confused with the fairly related education bannerfish, (Heniochus diphreutes).

The essential and visual variations are: an extended 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, not like the education bannerfish which has a smaller and more angular end.

A comparability of the three remarkably related fish, the Moorish idol (left), education bannerfish (top), and pennant coralfish (backside)

Pennant coralfish

Distribution and habitat

The pennant coralfish is widespread all through the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific from the eastern coast of Africa, the Red Sea included, to Polynesia, and from south Japan to the south of the Great Barrier Reef.

The reef bannerfish likes comparatively deep waters from the protected lagoon, channels, or outer reef slopes from 15 to 75 meters deep.

Size / Weight / Age

Max size : 25.0 cm TL male/unsexed; frequent size : 15.0 cm TL male/unsexed

Pennant coralfish Biology

Inhabit deep, protected lagoons and channels, and the deeper components of outer reef slopes. Juveniles are sometimes solitary whereas adults happen in pairs.

A planktivorous species that usually stays inside a number of meters of the reef. Juveniles might generally decide on parasites on the dermis of different fish. Oviparous. Form pairs throughout breeding.

Pennant coralfish Behavior

This fish is sort of energetic, swimming continually in open water looking for its next meal. It is nonetheless peaceable and has good sociability (in truth, it is extremely impartial and doesn’t care in regards to the different inhabitants of the aquarium). It isn’t shy and can animate your aquarium all day.

The Pennant coralfish might behave in an approach that’s cleansed from different fish. This can annoy them, and even stress them if the harassment is just too immediate. This behavior is noticed particularly in younger specimens.

Apart from this final level, the sociability of this fish is excellent. Note that tensions can generally happen inside the group of Pennant coralfish: they turn out to be territorial and aggressive in direction of their conspecifics. Rest assured, this behavior happens solely in case of upkeep in an aquarium too small.

Pennant coralfish

Pennant coralfish Diet

It is an omnivorous fish. Feed it with live or frozen crustaceans and molluscs: raw or scalded mussels, brine shrimp, mysus, krill, shrimp or fish items, nereis, tubifex, mosquito larvae.

On the vegetable aspect, recurrently supply seaweed (nori for instance), salad, and spinach. You have the selection! So deal with yourself and make him joyful: fluctuate his diet as a lot as possible!

It might also devour dry meals however this doesn’t must be its primary diet to keep away from deficiencies. It is nonetheless a very good occasional compliment.

It is essential to feed them a number of instances a day, ideally 3 times, to ensure good health.

The pennant coralfish lives in pairs and feeds on zooplankton within the water column and infrequently benthic invertebrates. Juveniles are solitary and might feed by cleansing different fishes.

Pennant coralfish Social Life

In nature, younger fish live in teams (they are often of various sizes). Adults live on their very own or as a pair. In your aquarium, you may maintain them in teams supplied that the people you select to compose are very younger and all launched into the aquarium at the same time.

Watch out for cohabitation with species more likely to assault its long dorsal fin (triggerfish, wrasses, puffer fish…). In normal, affiliate with it pretty calm fish.

Also watch out for the affiliation with Diodon (Diodontidae), which it tends to harass as a result of it takes their small black spots for parasites.

Finally, cohabitation with corals and mollusks isn’t possible as a result of they’re an integral part of their diet.

Pennant coralfish

Pennant coralfish Care

The Pennant coralfish will take pleasure in a big aquarium manufactured from rocks and algae. Incorporate holes and hiding locations so it could actually cover when it feels the need. For algae, caulerpa might be a sensible choice, the fish can feed on it.

Do not put corals as a result of the Pennant coralfish would eat them with an urge for food. Indeed, it loves tubeworms, tentacles of anemones, polyps of corals, sponges, and so forth.

The aquarium that maintains this species will need a strong filtration and a very good brewing. The water should be effectively ventilated. To promote the growth of algae it feeds, additionally set up highly effective lighting.

The success of its upkeep might be improved with fish launched at a younger age. Indeed, the acclimatization of older people is more delicate.

Very near Heniochus diphreutes, each species are fairly tough to distinguish. In H.diphreutes, the anal fin is more pointed and the muzzle is barely shorter. A more dependable technique is the counting of dorsal spines (11 on the H.acuminatus).


The pennant coralfish is harvested for the aquarium commerce in some geographical areas and it’s generally offered as a less expensive various to the Moorish idol, which is taken into account to be practically inconceivable for many hobbyists to maintain.

However, there don’t seem like any present threats to this species and it’s listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.

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