Eritrean Butterflyfish [Chaetodon paucifasciatus]

The Eritrean butterflyfish or Crown butterflyfish or Redbacked butterflyfish, Chaetodon paucifasciatus, is a member of the Chaetodontidae. Indian Ocean: apparently confined to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, but has been reported from East Africa.

The Eritrean butterflyfish grows up to 14cm in length. It is white with black chevrons except for a red bar stretching from the dorsal fin, across the tail to the top of the anal fin. They are oviparous fish forming monogamous pairings during breeding. They feed on coral polyps, gorgonians, algae, polychaete worms and small crustaceans. Eritrean butterflyfish are usually found in pairs or in small groups over coral and rubble areas from 1m to 30m depth. (text source: Wikipedia)

Picture: Ras Muhammed, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi


Threadfin Butterflyfish [Chaetodon auriga]

The threadfin butterflyfish, Chaetodon auriga, is a butterflyfish of the family Chaetodontidae found in the Indo-Pacific oceans from the Red Sea and East Africa (extending to Mossel Bay, South Africa) to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Ducie islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe and Rapa islands, at depths of between 1 and 35 m.

The threadfin butterflyfish has a pattern of “chevron” markings on the sides and a prominent black spot at the posterior edge of the soft portion of the dorsal fin. Adults of this species have a prominent black vertical band running across the eye, and a filament trailing posteriorly from the upper soft portion of the dorsal fin. Juveniles have a black bar over the head that hides the eye and an eye-sized black spot on the soft dorsal fin. Red Sea specimens usually lack the black spot at the end of the dorsal fin. Length is up to 23 cm.

They may be seen in a variety of habitats ranging from rich coral reefs to weedy and rubble covered areas, either singly, in pairs, or in aggregations that roam over large distances in search of food. They feed mainly by tearing pieces from polychaetes, sea anemones, coral polyps, and algae. Reproduction is oviparous, with pairs forming during breeding.

Picture: Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi

Blacktail Butterflyfish [Chaetodon austriacus]

The Blacktail butterflyfish or Exquisite butterflyfish or Polyp Butterflyfish, Chaetodon austriacus, is a member of the Chaetodontidae. The blacktail butterflyfish has a small range; the Red Sea and southern Oman only. However story tells that the blacktail butterflyfish has been sighted in El Nido, Palawan, Philippines by Dr. Gerry Allen during a fish identification project last July 2007.

The blacktail butterflyfish is up to 14 cm long and is orange with thin, curved black stripes. Its anal fin and tail are black. The body of juveniles is whiter above with white bands on the tail. It grazes on coral polyps and anemone tentacles. Adults are generally found in pairs patrolling a territory or range while juveniles are found among coral branches. They tend to be found in coral-rich areas between 0.5 m and 20 m depth, on seaward reefs or in lagoons or bays. The melon butterflyfish is similar in coloration but has orange bands on the tail and anal fin.

Picture: Naama Bay, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi

Lined Butterflyfish [chaetodon lineolatus]

The Lined butterflyfish, Chaetodon lineolatus, is the largest of the butterflyfish. They have a wide range; from the Red Sea South Africa, as far as South Japan and Hawaii.

Lined butterflyfish may grow up to 30cm long. They are white in colour with thin black vertical bars which join a thick black band at the base of the tail and dorsal fin. The tail, dorsal and anal fins are yellow. Diet includes coral polyps, small anemones, algae and invertebrates make up their diet. This uncommon fish is found in pairs or swimming alone, or occasionally in spawning aggregations. It occurs between 2 and 50m depth, in coral-rich areas of reefs and lagoons.

Picture: Naama Bay, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi

Diagonal Butterflyfish [Chaetodon fasciatus]

Diagonal Butterflyfish, also known as the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish or Striped Butterflyfish. Maximum length 22cm. They have a yellow body with 11 diagonal stripes. Habitat: Over and around corals, on which they feed. Distribution Red Sea only.

Picture: Naama Bay, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi

Bluecheek Butterflyfish [Chaetodon semilarvatus]

blue cheeked butterflyfish

The bluecheek butterflyfish, Chaetodon semilarvatus, is a butterflyfish of the family Chaetodontidae found in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, at depths of between 3 and 20 m. Its length is up to 23 cm (9.1 in).

The bluecheek butterflyfish is a common species found in areas where there is rich coral growth, often seen in pairs or small aggregations. It is occasionally observed hovering in a stationary position for extended periods under ledges of Acropora plate corals. Reproduction is oviparous, and pairs are formed during breeding.

Picture: Naama Bay, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi

Blackback Butterflyfish [Chaetodon Melannotus]

The blackback butterflyfish or blackbacked butterflyfish, Chaetodon melannotus is a member of the family Chaetodontidae. Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, to southern Japan and throughout Micronesia.

The blackback butterflyfish grows up to 18cm long, and may live for up to 20 years. They are oviparous, forming pairs during breeding. When observed at night, or when frightened, this species changes color; The dorsal portion of the body turns black except for two white patches. It feeds primarily on the polyps of soft and hard corals. Common on staghorn coral thickets, less seen on exposed parts of reefs. They are generally found between 4 and 20m depth, usually solitary or in pairs. Juveniles are more commonly found inshore, In pairs or traveling in small groups. (text source: Wikipedia)

Picture: Naama Bay, Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi