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The Manini is a widely distributed surgeonfish that is often abundant on reefs. It has two modes of existence, scattered individuals or dense column-forming schools, which may be seen on the same day at different places on the reef. In Hawaii schooling is a tactic used for getting to the bottom to feed when the bottom is held by territory-holding food competitors. Mixed-species “flocks” are an extension of this tactic. In atoll situations habitat partitioning exists, with the Maninis feeding in the intertidal area away from competitors; there, schooling is anti-predator behaviour.