This tropical species is found in the Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to southern Japan and areas of Australia. They are also found in the eastern Pacific. The only surviving member of the Zanclidae family, Moorish idols get their name from the Moorish people of North Africa, who allegedly believed the fish to
be a harbinger of happiness. They can survive at depths of over 180 metres, and occur singly, in pairs or in large schools. They grow up to 23 centimetres in length, and have a disc-shaped body with a trailing dorsal fin and a pointed snout. Moorish idols are easily identified by their striking black, white and yellow stripes. They are pelagic spawners, and their larvae float for a long time on ocean currents – which may explain their wide distribution.