Moorish Idols while Snorkelling at Temple, Ras Mohammed, Egypt

Monday, June 04, 2007 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The moorish idol, Zanclus cornutus ("Crowned Scythe"), is a small perciform marine fish, the sole representative of the family Zanclidae (from the Greek zagkios, "oblique"). A common inhabitant of tropical to subtropical reefs and lagoons, the moorish idol is notable for its wide distribution throughout the Indo-Pacific. A number of butterflyfishes (all of the genus Heniochus) closely resemble the moorish idol.

It is said the moorish idol got its name from the Moors of Africa, who purportedly believe the fish to be a bringer of happiness. Moorish idols are also popular aquarium fish, but despite their popularity, they are notorious for their short aquarium lifespans and difficulty.

Temple is a local sites just off Sharm El Sheikh. The local dive spots offer calm conditions and vary a lot on their underwater landscape. They go from steep walls in Ras Nasrani, to coral gardens in Ras Umm Sid or shallow sandy areas at the Gardens that end on drop offs. Some have massive pinnacles like Temple and Ras Katy that almost reach the surface and others have canyons like Tower and White Knights that go beyond 50m. They offer abundant marine life and are a channel for big creatures passing by.

Ras Mohammed is the National Park of South Sinai and located on the very tip of the Sinai Peninsula; it probably represents some of the most famous dive sites in the Red Sea with 800-metre (2,600 ft) deep reef walls and pounding current and coral gardens.