Place of origin: Central Pacific
Widespread Indo-Pacific, East Africa to Central America. Various coastal to outer reef habitats. Commonly seen in pairs, occasionally forming large travelling schools. Readily identified by its colour and shape. Length to 16cm
The Kihikihi, or Moorish Idol, as it is more popularly referred to, is one of the classic and more striking fish easily found around the coasts of Hawai'i from sea level down to 600 feet. Vivid light yellow-white and black stripes adorn the fish and each pointed nose has a bright streak of orange.
Kihikihi are very fast and agile swimmers and can change direction very quickly. They tend to be more aggressive and often seem curious to swimmers in the area.
The primary source of food for KihiKihi are sponges that grow in the coral reefs and tidal pools. They fetch the sponges from crevices using the longer jaw they have developed.
While Kihikihi are most often seen as individuals, they can swim in schools of 4 to 6 individuals.