Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Chaetodontidae

Genus: Heniochus

Species: H. acuminatus

Physical Description

The Pennant Coralfish is also known as the Longfin Bannerfish, Coachman, Featherfin Coralfish, Butterflyfish, Common Bannerfish, Angelfish Pennant and Pavillon.  It looks similar to the beautiful Crowned Scythe, better known as the Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus). The fish is primarily black and white with yellow anal, caudal and pectoral fins. It has an elongated dorsal fin which can extend up to 25cm. A fin is an external appendage or “limb” of a fish. Fins are used for directing, stabilizing, or propelling the different fish species in water. Pennant Coralfish can grow up to 25 cm what is approximately 9 inches. 1 specimen basically needs at least 3000cm2 of water surface which is approximately 465 square inch. This fish should be kept in aquariums that are large. Medium aquariums have at least 113 L. Large aquariums have at least 265 L. Capacity of very large aquariums is at least 700 L.


They are social fish, and are found in pairs or in shoals. They are a very passive fish, and rarely territorial. Some individuals even act as cleaners, especially when young, by removing parasites from other fish Inhabit deep, protected lagoons and channels, and the deeper parts of outer reef slopes. Juveniles are often solitary while adults occur in pairs. A planktivorous species that generally remains within a few meters of the reef. Juveniles may sometimes pick on parasites on the epidermis of other fish. Oviparous. Form pairs during breeding.

The fish is uncommonly harvested for anything other than the marine aquarium industry. It is commonly sold as an alternative to the Moorish idol, which is considered to be nearly impossible for most hobbyists to keep. It is fairly easy to care for when maintained in a properly sized aquarium with peaceful tankmates.

Habitat and Distribution

The pennant coralfish is commonly found at depths of 2 – 75m. The pennant coralfish’s natural distribution is in the Indian and Pacific Oceans in reef settings, from southern Japan to Micronesia and Lord Howe Island, and in the Seychelles. Currently it is registered as introduced species in the Black Sea.