Longfin Bannerfish

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Heniochus acuminatus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Longfin Bannerfish

"The poor man's Moorish Idol"—a hardy, interesting aquarium species. Scott W. Michael


With dramatic markings and elegant finnage, this handsome fish will readily acclimate to the larger home aquarium. It is one of several butterflyfishes that will clean parasites from other fishes.

Family: Chaetodontidae

Other common name(s):

  • Threadfin Bannerfish
  • Pennant Coralfish
  • Heniochus

Native range:

Habitat: Reef or reef-sand interface. Provide plenty of swimming room for this fish.

Maximum length: 25 cm (10 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to bottom.


Omnivore. Feed a varied diet of meaty and algae-based foods at least three times a day.

Aquarium Compatibility

This species will swim in the open in the home aquarium, although it will feel more secure and behave more naturally if it has several rocky hideouts available. Individuals may live as long as 19 years in captivity.


Egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.


The Longfin Bannerfish can be kept in small schools in a larger home aquarium. It is prudent to add all members of the group simultaneously. Group members will form a pecking order. When battling for dominance, they will head-butt and attempt to push their opponents backward. This species is not a good addition to the reef tank, because it will pick on a wide range of ornamental invertebrates (including soft and stony corals). The similar-looking Schooling Bannerfish (H. diphreutes) is a dedicated planktivore and much less likely to eat corals.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM