Common name: Red Sea bannerfish
available through www.itis.gov
Identification: Heniochus intermedius has a deeply compressed body that is pale yellow becoming white on the anterior dorsal surface (Lieske and Myers 2004). It has two broad oblique blackish bands, bolder ventrally and diffusing dorsally (Bariche 2012). The first band runs from the dorsal fin origin next to or covering the eye to the pelvic fin, the second band from the spinous dorsal to the rear part of anal fin (Randall 1983, Allen et al. 1998). It has yellow pectoral, soft dorsal, anal, and tail fins with black pelvic fins (Randall 1983, Allen et al. 1998). There is an elongate white dorsal filament, sometimes longer than the standard length of the body (Randall 1983). This species is similar in appearance to Heniochus acuminatus and H. diphreutes but distinguished by its more yellowish body color and placement of the first black band next to the eye (Randall 1983, Allen et al. 1998).
Size: Maximum size to 18 cm total length (Allen et al. 1998).
Native Range: Red Sea bannerfish are native to the Red Sea and western Gulf of Aden (Lieske and Myers 2004).
One individual identified as Red Sea bannerfish was observed in 2006 off the coast of West Palm Beach, Florida. There are several records of additional Heniochus species, all from southeastern Florida.
Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Heniochus intermedius are found here.
Table last updated 9/21/2021
† Populations may not be currently present.
Ecology: Heniochus intermedius is found on coral reefs 3-50 m deep (Allen et al. 1998). It is often found hovering in schools under coral heads or around prominent coral formations (Lieske and Myers 2004). The species is territorial on the reef and feed on zooplankton and benthic invertebrates (Allen et al. 1998, Lieske and Myers 2004).
Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.
Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.
References: (click for full references)
Allen, G. R., Steene, R., and Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing (USA)/Tropical Reef Research (Australia).
Bariche, M. 2012. Recent evidence on the presence of Heniochus intermedius (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae) and Platycephalus indicus (Teleostei: Platycephalidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. BioInvasions Records 1(1): 53-57.
Lieske, E. and Myers, R.F. 2004. Coral reef guide: Red Sea to Gulf of Aden, South Oman. Harper Collins, London.
Randall, J.E. 1983. Red Sea Reef Fishes. Immel Publishing, London.
Brown, M.E., and P.J. Schofield
Revision Date: 8/27/2019
Peer Review Date: 4/24/2009
Brown, M.E., and P.J. Schofield, 2021, Heniochus intermedius Steindachner, 1893: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2596, Revision Date: 8/27/2019, Peer Review Date: 4/24/2009, Access Date: 9/21/2021
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.