Definition of Moorish idol in English:

Moorish idol


  • A disc-shaped fish with bold vertical black-and-white bands and a very tall tapering dorsal fin, of coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region.

    Zanclus cornutus, family Acanthuridae

    Also called toby
    • ‘Species associated with the Great Barrier Reef, such as Moorish idols, trumpetfish, butterfly, angelfish and fairy basslets co-exist with temperate seaweeds and fish that like colder climates.’
    • ‘Closer to the reef and in among a necklace of smaller granite boulders are all the usual reef fish - butterflyfish, damselfish, Moorish idols, triggerfish, angelfish, groupers and lionfish.’
    • ‘We dropped onto yet another inauspicious tract of coral and I photographed a couple of browsing hawksbill turtles, one closely attended by a Moorish idol.’
    • ‘There even seems to be an improvement in some respects; normally shy fish like Moorish idols and coral trout have apparently become quite accustomed to divers, and act much more approachable than just a few years ago.’
    • ‘Schools of small blue fish raced in and out of the corals and a beautiful Moorish idol posed long enough for several photographs.’
    • ‘Overhead swim great shoals of pencilled surgeonfish, yellow butterfly fish and brilliantly coloured Moorish idols.’
    • ‘Inside I photographed Moorish idols as they swam over various artefacts.’


Moorish idol