to Like Us!
The banded butterflyfish
belongs to the
They are native to the Atlanatic Ocean form
Massachusetts to Brazil, the Caribbean, and the Gulf of Mexico. These
are shallow marine reef dwellers frequently inhabiting depths from of 3
to 55 meters.
The fish was
classified by Carolus Linnaeus in 1758.
Chaetodontidae means bristle-tooth. Striatus refers to the
black vertical stripes. There are three of these stripes, two on both
sides and a third extending from their dorsal fin to their caudal
peduncle. These flat, disk shaped fish have a silver body with black
pectoral fins and a shot pointed snout. They typically grow to length
of 5-6.5 inches. They will live five to seven years.
than adults. They have a large black ring
with a dark spot in the middle that resembles an eye on their bodies.
This artificial eye tends to confuse would-be predators. The spot fades
away as they mature. Juveniles are also a different color than adults.
They are brownish yellow in color. This may be a means of protective
camouflage while they are young and too small to defend themselves
is known by various other names
including; banded mariposa,
butterbum, butterflyfish, portuguese
butterfly, and school mistress.
This fish is a
choice for beginning saltwater aquarists.
They are a docile species whose habitation of marine reefs
their peaceful cohabitation with other species. It is best to raise
them in pairs. They are not good candidates for reef aquariums. It
would be the equivalent to giving them free tickets to an all you can
This is a
They are active during the day and rest
at night. They will seek shelter from night predators such as moray
eels and sharks when the sun starts to go down. In the wild
butterflies eat polychaete worms, coral polyps,
crustaceans and mollusk eggs. They frequently pick the parasites off of
other fish such as grunts and surgeon fish. Adults also feast on the
plankton columns common to marine reefs. They will also pick at the
ocean floor in search of food. In
eat most of the commercially available
marine fish foods. They generally will not turn their nose up at Marine
fish flakes or freeze-dried food products.
harvested for human consumption. It is, however, harvested for the
frequently found in pairs. Pairing occurs
early in life and has been observed to
last for periods of time,
suggesting that this is a monogamous species.
Courtship rituals between
a pair of banded butterflies are long and
energetic. It begins buy the fish circling each other until one fish
eventually breaks the pattern and runs. They will then start chasing
each other all around the reef. Intruders to the courtship are quickly
chased away. Spawning occurs at dusk. The female will release up to
4000 eggs. The eggs will hatch within a day.
The larvae of
referred to as tholichthys, are specific
to the butterflyfish. Tholichthys are incased in bony armor-like plates
that extend backwards from their heads. Once they are a few days old
they will settle on the bottom of the reef overnight. The next morning
the will emerge as fully developed juveniles.
Page For Future
Saltwater & Marine
Fish Care & Breeding Guide
Our Guide: Article Usage/Legal Disclaimer