Butterflyfish are in the family Chaetodontidae.
They have deep, compressed bodies (oval-shaped when side on, thin when head on).
They have small, pointed mouths, with small, brush-like teeth.
There are 116 species across the globe, including their close cousins the Bannerfish.
Most live in tropical waters, and are found where there are extensive areas of live coral, in 20m of water of shallower.
|90% of butterflyfish species are found in the Indo-Pacific, and in Fiji at least 27 species of Butterflyfish and 6 Bannerfish can be found.|
(Drawing from “Reef Fishes of the World”, Lieske and Myers, ISBN 962-593-140-6 )
|Family Chaetodontidae - Butterflyfishes|
|Class:||Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)|
|No. of Genera:||10|
|No. of Species:||114|
|Environment:||Fresh: No Brackish: Yes Marine: Yes|
|First Fossil Record:||lower Tertiary, lower Eocene Ref.: Berg, L.S..1958|
|Remark:||Atlantic (tropical to temperate), Indian, and Pacific Oceans. Primarily Indo-west Pacific. Highly compressed body. Dorsal fin continuous, with 6-16 spines and 15-30 soft rays. Spines in anal fin 3-5, usually 3, and 14-23 soft rays. Caudal fin with 15 branched rays, rounded to emarginate. Scales extend onto anal and dorsal fins. Mouth small, terminal and protrusible with a band or rows of small brushlike teeth. Gut coiled several times. Two anteriorly directed processes in swim bladder. Vertebrae 24 (11+13). Most with bright coloration, a dark band across the eye and an 'eyespot' dorsally. Generally near coral reefs. Typically diurnal. 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. Pelagic spawners. Tholichthys larval stage with the head region covered with bony plates. Some of the planktivores and generalists do well in the aquarium, but most species are difficult to maintain, and obligate corallivores nearly impossible. Chaet- (gr.) = bristle, odont- (gr.) = tooth|
|Etymology:||Greek, chaite = hair + Greek, odous, odontos = tooth, teeth. 1750 ( Ref. 45335).|
|Typical activity level:||normal|
|Main Ref.:||Nelson, J.S..1994|
All ID info from FishBase
Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2008.FishBase.
World Wide Web electronic publication.
www.fishbase.org, version (04/2008).
For more Butterflyfish information:
A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes
Author: Gerald R Allen, Roger Steene, Mark Allen.
ISBN : 0-9661720-1-9
Author: Terrence M. Gosliner, David W. Behrens
Josh Jensen and Liz Harlin
A relational database with information to cater to different
More Butterflyfish Info
|Butterflyfish Biology||Butterflyfish Lifestyle
||Coral Growth Forms