Moorish Idols are one of those quintessential iconic reef fish – they are so popular that the more common and easier to keep Heniochus are sometimes called the ‘Poor Man’s Moorish Idol. The reason for the illustrious prestige of Zanclus canescens is a bold color and pattern which is incredibly consistent from the east coast of Africa, through Indonesia and all the way to Central America.
However one stunning adult Moorish Idol didn’t get the conformity memo and has taken on a slightly more monochromatic appearance. Instead of the bumblebee black, white and yellow, this striking Zanclus is nearly all black and white, save for a tiny yellow patch on its snout.
This fish is an incredibly rare mutation of the normal color pattern for Moorish Idol, and only the second time a deviant has been found. The monochrome Moorish Idol was recorded by Kerry Key of Kona Diving Company and we thank her for sharing this footage with us and the world.