Longfin Bannerfish - Heniochus acuminatus - Large
The Longfin Bannerfish (Heniochus acuminatus) has two wide, forward sloping black bands across its white body. The rear parts of the dorsal, pectoral, and anal fins are yellow while the pelvic fins are black. The front ray of the dorsal fin is extended like a long banner. Several other Heniochus species have a very similar coloration with small variations. Among these variations, H. acuminatus can be identified by its white face and mouth and the white patch between the yellow area on the rear and the last black stripe.
Butterflyfish consist of a large number of fish found in the aquarium trade from the Chaetodon, Chelmon, Forcipiger, and Heniochus genuses, among others from the family Chaetodontidae. The family ranges in length from 3 inches up to close to 12 inches in length. Butterflies are usually roughly oval in body shape but longer fins make some appear elliptical or diamond-shaped. They resemble and are sometimes confused with angelfish (family Pomacentridae) but angelfish have a cheekspine that is not found in butterflies.
Butterflies are generally community fish in nature. Though some more pugnatious species may terrorize smaller or more docile fish, most can be kept with a wide range of community tankmates. Most butterfly species are not "reef safe" and will eat corals and polyps. In fact, some more delicate butterflies require corals as part of their natural diet. Butterflies may also harm smaller crustaceans (crabs and shrimp) and may pick at inverts like clams, feather dusters, anemones and similar tankmates. Use caution when introducing a butterfly into a tank with inverts; though some are considered "reef safe" by some aquarists, any butterfly may pose a risk to corals and inverts.
The diet of butterflies can vary, as mentioned, based on what they normally eat in the wild. Some very picky species only pick at coral flesh and can be difficult to wean onto an aquarium-based diet. A very varied diet of algae and meaty items like brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, scallops, clam, corals, sponges and other items is best. Vitamin supplements can also help get the butterflies all the nutrition they require. While some butterflies are very hardy and suitable for aquarists of all levels, more sensitive species should be attempted by experienced aquarists only.
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|Common Name||Longfin Bannerfish - Large|
|Scientific Name||Heniochus acuminatus|
|Specific Gravity Range||1.020-1.024|
|Invert Safe||Yes, with caution|
|Max Size (in inches)||9|
|Min Tank Size (in gallons)||100|
|Difficulty||Easy to Moderate|
|Armed Forces Americas|
|Armed Forces Europe|
|Armed Forces Pacific|