Monodactylus sebae
Monodactylus sebae
Monodactylus sebae


Latin name Monodactylus sebae - (Cuvier, 1829)
Common name African moony
Family Monodactylidae - Monodactylus
Origin West Indian Ocean
Max length 25.0 cm (9.8")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 800 l (211 gal)
Hardiness Hardy
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Reef safe with caution
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species


  • Fish
  • Macroalgae (Eg. seaweed / nori)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)

Can be a threat to small fish

This spicies might be a threat to smaller fishes.

Sensitive during transportation

This species is very sensitive during transportation and acclimatizing into the aquarium.

Heavy load

This species eats a great deal and demands an aquarium that can tolerate such a heavy load.

Frequent feeding

This species requires frequent feeding, at least a couple of times per day.

Acclimitises best as a juvenile

This species will better acclimatize to the aquarium`s condition if introduced, when young.

Very small individuals can be very delicate.

Requires a varied diet

This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.

Bred in captivity

This species can be bred in captivity, one can therefore consider asking your local fish store for a captive bred specimen.

Can coexist with its own species

Several specimen of this species can coexist in the same aquarium, provided they are introduced simultaneously.

Family description (Monodactylidae)

Moonfish (Monodactylidae) are unique, with their special shape and that they have a reflective skin. They are seldom kept in private aquaria, but seen occasionally.

They normally live in brackish water, but can get used to water with a salinity of around 35 (specific gravity 1.026). Larger individuals do better in salt water. Adult fish donĀ“t thrive when moved from their environment, this must be taken into account when these fish are acquired

It is important to mimic their natural environment with proper hiding places, plenty of macroalgae and tree roots.

Because they have the the tendency to swim directly into the glass when frightened, this must be avoided. i.e. dim the light gradually and permanently have a nightlight on.


Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Eastern Atlantic: west African coast, from Cape Verde to Angola (Ref. 81286), including the Canary Islands (Ref. 7314) and Senegal (Ref. 28587).
English common names African mono
Danish common names Vestafrikansk månefisk
German common names Seba-Flossenblatt
Spanish common names Rambali

References and further reading

About references

Scott W. Michael. 2004. Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 3) TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. Marvelous Monos; the Moonfishes, Finger Fishes, family Monodactylidae - Wet Web Media - (English)
WWM Crew. FAQs about Monos or Fingerfishes, Family Monodactylidae - Wet Web Media - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication., version (08/2014).


eats fish, shoal group
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