The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Heniochus intermedius
Heniochus intermedius
(Red Sea bannerfish)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Heniochus intermedius Steindachner, 1893

Common name: Red Sea bannerfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

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).

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: 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.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL200620061Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 7/17/2024

† 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.

Status: Unknown

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.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Brown, M.E., and P.J. Schofield

Revision Date: 8/27/2019

Peer Review Date: 4/24/2009

Citation Information:
Brown, M.E., and P.J. Schofield, 2024, 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: 7/17/2024

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.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/17/2024].

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