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Black and White Heniochus

Scientific Name Heniochus acuminatus

Native To Widely distributed in tropical areas of the Indo-Pacific

Habitat Deep lagoons, channels, coastal as well as outer reef slopes

Diet Zooplankton, comb jellies, algae, coral and sessile invertebrates

Size and Age Up to 25 cm (9.8 in) long; average lifespan of 5 years

Natural History

Black and white heniochus have tall, striped bodies, with yellow caudal fins and a trailing white dorsal fin. Their small mouths are ideal for eating tiny prey and plants on the ocean floor.


Heniochus are versatile fish; they can live solitarily, in pairs, or in larger groups. They are rather peaceful and can be quite helpful to other fish. Juvenile and adult heniochus will eat parasitic flatworms from the scales of other fish.

Least Concern

Conservation Status

Black and white heniochus are intensively harvested for the aquarium industry within the Philippines; nevertheless, there appear to be no overall threats to this widespread species.

Interesting Facts

  • Black and white heniochus are also known as the longfin bannerfish.
  • This species of fish can swim as deep as 75 m (246 ft).
  • They are related to butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae).