Schooling bannerfish
  • Heniochus diphreutes
  • EnglishName: Schooling bannerfish
  • Local Name : Dhidha bibee
  • Size : Max. 21 cm
  • Family: CHAETODONTIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 23-25 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 17-19 rays. Pectoral fin with 16-18 rays. Body depth 1.2-1.5 in standard length. Snout shorter than eye diameter. The fourth dorsal spine prolonged. No spines in front of eyes.
  • Colour: Colour almost identical to H. acuminatus (previous page) but the second dark band is placed further backward on the anal fin. White with two broad diagonal stripes. Dorsal and caudal fins yellow. Pectoral fins pale. In juveniles anal spines whitish. In larger adults only distal ends dusky.
  • Habitat and Biology: A schooling species that usually swims well off the bottom. Feeds mainly on zooplankton. Occasionally observed cleaning other fishes.
  • Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.
  • Remarks: Heniochus diphreutes is one of the most common Maldivian butterflyfishes. It can easily be confused with H. acuminatus (previous page), which normally occurs in pairs on the reef.