Chaetodontidae – Butterflyfish

Butterfly for are in Atlantic (tropical to temperate), Indian, and Pacific Oceans. They are common in primarily Indo-west Pacific. The fish has a highly compressed body and dorsal fin continuous, with 6-16 spines and 15-30 soft rays.

Most with bright colouration, a dark band across the eye and an ‘eyespot’ dorsally. Many feed on a combination of coelenterate polyps or tentacles, small invertebrates, fish eggs, and filamentous algae, while others are specialists or planktivores. Most species occur as heterosexual pairs.

The family Chaetodontidae belongs to the Class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) and the Order Perciformes. It contains 10 genera and 114 species. It may be found in Marine and Brackish environments and is primarily Marine. Many members of this family are used in the aquarium trade. Reproductively, most members of this family are non guarders. The dominant mode of swimming of adult fish in this family is balistiform. Compared with other fish, the activity level of this family is normal. Members of this family have been dated back to the lower Eocene epoch of the Tertiary period.

Common NameScientific Name
Black Back ButterflyfishChaetodon melannotus
Madagascar ButterflyfishChaetodon madagaskariensis
Double Saddle ButterflyfishChaetodon falcula
Racoon ButterflyfishChaetodon lunula
Brown ButterflyfishChaetodon kleinii
Eclipse ButterflyfishChaetodon bennetti
Citron ButterflyfishChaetodon citrinellus
Head Band ButterflyfishChaetodon collare
Spotted ButterflyfishChaetodon guttatissimus
Vagabond ButterflyfishChaetodon vagabundus
Yellowhead ButterflyfishChaetodon xanthocephalus
Thread Fin ButterflyfishChaetodon auriga
Long Nose ButterflyfishForcipiger longirostris
Long Nose ButterflyfishForcipiger flavissimus
Black Pyramid ButterflyfishHemitaurichthys zoster
Singular BannerfishHeniochus singularius
Triangular ButterflyfishChaetodon baronessa
Yellow Teardrop ButterflyfishChaetodon interruptus/unimaculatus
Yellow ButterflyfishChaetodon plebeius
Indian ButterflyfishChaetodon mitratus
Reef BannerfishHeniochus acuminatus
Masked BannerfishHeniochus monoceros
Meyers ButterflyfishChaetodon meyeri
Melon ButterflyfishChaetodon trifasciatus

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