This little fellow was made famous in the movie “Finding Nemo”. In the aquarium, Nemo meets the Tank Gang, led by a moorish idol named Gill. It is not uncommon to hear kids yell out “Gill” when they see this fish swim by them while snorkeling.
The Moorish idol got its name from the Moors of Africa, who purportedly believed the fish to be a bringer of happiness.
Moorish idols generally prefer shallower waters and flat reefs. They are often seen alone, but can also be observed in twos or threes.
They are pelagic spawners meaing they release eggs and sperm into the water colum, leaving unfertilized eggs to drift with the currents. They mate for life.
photos courtesy Charlie Kline