Animals >>

Butterfly Fish

Naso lituratusButterfly Fish is common to see in coral reef garden.Copperband Butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus)Mirror Butterfly Fish (Chaetodon speculum)Hemitaurichthys polylepis
[Jump to Article]

Butterfly Fish Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
Chordata
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum
Actinopterygii
Order:
A group of animals within a class
Perciformes
Family:
A group of animals within an order
Chaetodontidae
Common Name:
Most widely used name for the species
Butterfly fish
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species
Chaetodontidae
Origin:
The area where the animal first came from
Atlantic, Indian, Pacific Oceans
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats
Omnivore
Size (L):
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
7cm - 15cm (3in - 6in)
Water Type:
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
Salt
Optimum pH Level:
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
8.1 - 8.6
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for
6 - 12 years
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
Endangered
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Silver
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Scales
Favourite Food:Plankton
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives
Tropical coral reefs
Average Clutch Size:
The average number of eggs laif at once
200
Main Prey:Plankton, Coral, Crustaceans
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Fish, Eels, Sharks
Distinctive Features:
Characteristics unique to the animal
Elongated nose and bright colours

Butterfly Fish Location

Map of Butterfly Fish Locations

Butterfly Fish

The butterfly fish is a generally small sized species of marine fish, found in tropical and subtropical waters, primarily around coral reefs. The butterfly fish is well known for it's brightly coloured body and elaborate markings.

There are more than 100 different species of butterfly fish found distributed throughout the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, meaning that the butterfly fish is a salt-water species of (marine) fish.

The average butterfly fish is fairly small and generally grows to around 4 or 5 inches in length. Some species of the butterfly fish however, are known to grow to 8 inches (20 cm) long and some butterfly fish individuals have been known to grow to 30 cm in length.

The butterfly fish can live for up to 10 years in a well kept aquarium but will only reach about 7 years old in the wild. The butterfly fish is a difficult fish to keep as they need very specific water conditions that need regular and close monitoring and so the butterfly fish is only found in specific water conditions in the wild.

The butterfly fish is most closely related to the marine angelfish which is similar in colour but the marine angelfish is often much larger in size than the butterfly fish. Butterfly fish can be distinguished from angelfish by the dark spots on their bodies, dark bands around their eyes and the fact that the mouth of the butterfly fish is more pointed than the mouth of the angelfish.

Butterfly fish are diurnal animals which means that they are feeding during the day and resting in the coral during the night. Most species of butterfly fish feed on the plankton in the water, coral and sea anemones and occasionally snack on small crustaceans . Those butterfly fish fish that primarily feed on the plankton in the water are generally the smaller species of butterfly fish and can be seen in large groups. The larger species of butterfly fish are fairly solitary or stay with their mating partner.

Butterfly fish are preyed upon by a number of large predators including fish such as snappers, eels and sharks. Due to the fact that the butterfly fish is small in size, it is able to tuck itself into crevices in the coral in order to escape danger and prevent itself from being eaten.

Butterfly fish form mating pairs that they remain with for life. Butterfly fish release their eggs into the water which form part of the plankton (it is because of this that many butterfly fish eggs are accidentally eaten by animals that live on plankton). When the eggs hatch, the baby butterfly fish (known as fry) develop armoured plates on their bodies to protect them when they are so vulnerable. As the butterfly fish gets, older these plates disappear. Butterfly fish have an average lifespan of 8 to 10 years although some of the larger butterfly fish species are known to get to much older.

Today, the butterfly fish is considered to be an endangered animal mainly as butterfly fish populations have been threatened due to water pollution and habitat loss. The destruction of coral reefs occurs mainly from boats, and without their coral habitat, the butterfly fish find it difficult to survive as they have less food and are also more exposed to predators.

Butterfly Fish Translations

Deutsch
Falterfische
English
Butterflyfish
Español
Chaetodontidae
Suomi
Perhokalat
Français
Chaetodontidae
Magyar
Sörtefogúfélék
Bahasa Indonesia
Kepe-kepe
Italiano
Chaetodontidae
日本語
チョウチョウウオ科
Nederlands
Koraalvlinders
Norsk
Skjellfinnefisker
Polski
Chetonikowate
Português
Chaetodontidae
Svenska
Fjärilsfiskar
中文
蝴蝶魚科

Butterfly Fish Comments

bob
"I love them, I wish i could do sommthing for them. I hope they servive!!!"
Candy
"I like butterflyfish and I am doing a project on them "
dabbingirl
"i love butterfly fish im doing a projecet on them!!!"
Anonymous
"I wish I could help all the animals how agree with me "
lion fish
"What a cool fish are you????????????????"
Showing 5 of 25 comments.
Show More Comments

Post Comment

Please enter a nickname which you can use to identify your comment, but which others can not use to identify you. Please do not use your online usernames/handles which you use for social networking.

Article Tools

Add to Phobia Filter
Update your Butterfly Fish phobia filter.
Print Article
View printer friendly version of Butterfly Fish article.
Source/Reference Article
Learn how you can use or cite the Butterfly Fish article in your website content, school work and other projects.

First Published: 14th November 2008, Last Updated: 9th January 2017 [View Sources]

Sources:
1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 14 Nov 2008]

Are you Safe?

Are you Safe? is an online safety campaign by A-Z-Animals.com. If something has upset you, the Are you Safe? campaign can help you to speak to someone who can help you.

Are you Safe?
Subscribe to A-Z Animals and enjoy our website without advertising! Subscribe Now