Singular Bannerfish, Heniochus singularius Smith & Radcliffe 1911

A Singular Bannerfish, Heniochus singularius, at South Point, Pulau Sipadan, Sabah, Malaysia. Source: Bernard Dupont / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A blackish bannerfish with a prominent bony horn-like protruberance on the head, two broad dark diagonal bands on the body on either side of diffuse whitish to greyish band, a white band on the head behind the eye, yellow soft dorsal, caudal and pectoral fins, and a black anal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Heniochus singularius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Jun 2024,

Singular Bannerfish, Heniochus singularius Smith & Radcliffe 1911

More Info


Shark Bay to Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to the Moreton Bay region, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical Indo-west Pacific, from the Maldive and Chagos Islands to Samoa, and north to southern Japan.
Inhabits coastal, inner and outer reef slopes, preferring areas with rich coral growth and high vertical relief. Juveniles usually occur in shallow lagoons, but are also seen in deeper areas near caves and overhangs. 


Feeds mostly on coral polyps, benthic invertebrates and algae.

Similar Species

Differs from the Masked Bannerfish, Heniochus monoceros, in having a dark anal fin and less distinct bands on the body.

Species Citation

Heniochus singularius Smith & Radcliffe 1911, Proc. U. S. Natl Mus. 40(1882): 321. Type locality: Alibijaban Island, Luzon, Philippines.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Singular Bannerfish, Heniochus singularius Smith & Radcliffe 1911


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs. 

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls. 

Burgess, W.E. 1978. Butterflyfishes of the World. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications Inc. 832 pp. figs. 

Findley, J.S. & Findley, M.T. 2001. Global, regional, and local patterns in species richness and abundance of butterflyfishes. Ecological Monographs 7(1): 69-91.

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Butterflyfishes, Bannerfishes and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp. 

Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Heniochus singularius. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165622A6070311. Downloaded on 14 January 2018.

Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae. pp. 3224-3286 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp. 

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Smith, H.M. & Radcliffe, L. 1911. Descriptions of three new fishes of the family Chaetodontidae from the Philippine Islands. Scientific results of the Philippine cruise of the fisheries steamer Albatross, 1907–1910. No. 9. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 40(1882): 319-326 figs 1-3 

Steene, R.C. 1978. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed Vol. 1 144 pp. 216 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365077

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Max Size:23 cm TL

Max Size:Reef associated

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map