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Wisdom Wednesday | Moorish Idols

Shore Buddies Wisdom Wednesday 03/03/2021

Photo of a group of Moorish Idols swimming through the ocean. Photo from @divercaptain on Instagram.

Photo by @divercaptain

Did you know the Moorish Idol supposedly got its name from the Moors of Africa who believed the fish brought happiness? Moorish idols inhabit the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans at depths of between 10 and 600 feet. These fish use their tubular snouts and bristle-like teeth to feed on algae and invertebrates such as sponges and tunicates. Although the Moorish Idol is often confused with the Angelfish and the Butterflyfish, its closest relatives are scats, rabbitfishes, spade fishes and surgeonfishes. These fish measure about 9 inches in length with bars of color on their bodies. These bars of contrasting colors may serve as disruptive coloration to prevent predators from being able to determine where the fish begins and ends. Additionally, some researchers believe that the Moorish Idol’s long dorsal fin may act to make the fish appear larger to predators.,(10%20to%20600%20feet).