Pyramid Butterflyfish [Hemitaurichthys polylepis]


The Pyramid Butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis) is a species of butterflyfish in the genus Hemitaurichthys.
The butterflyfish can grow up to 18cm in length. The Pyramid Butterflyfish is usually seen in depths between 3 m and 60 m in outer reef areas close to drop-offs. It often forms large shoals containing hundreds of individuals all swimming high in the water column feeding on plankton.

This species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean and Western and Central Pacific, from South-east Asia, Christmas Island and Coco-Keeling Atoll, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to the Hawaiian and Pitcairn Islands. In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia, the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and northern New South Wales.

This butterflyfish family contains a colorful collection of fishes with diverse body patterns. This butterflyfish bears a white pyramid-shaped patch on each side. As it grows its head changes color form yellow to brown. (text source: Wikipedia)


Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi


Klein’s butterflyfish [Chaetodon kleinii]


The Sunburst Butterflyfish or Black-lipped Butterflyfish or Blacklip butterflyfish or Klein’s Butterflyfish. In the creoles of Mauritius and Réunion it is called papillon (“butterfly”). Its scientific name is Chaetodon kleinii.
It is a native of the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to Australia and New Caledonia. It is also found in Galapagos Islands in the the Eastern Pacific.
Under its junior synonym C. corallicola was placed in the monotypic subgenus Tifia, but this cannot be separated from the earlier-described Lepidochaetodon (sometimes considered a separate genus). It appears to be closer to the Tahiti Butterflyfish (C. trichrous) than to the Teardrop Butterflyfish (C. unimaculatus).

The body of this fish is yellowish brown with 1-2 broad lighter vertical bars, one running from near the origin of the dorsal spine to the belly, and sometimes another running from the middle of the back to the center of the body. A black bar runs vertically across the eye, and the part before this is whitish, with a black snout. The color varies somewhat across the range; western specimens usually have one beige bar, while eastern ones have two white bars. There may be numerous dotted horizontal stripes on the sides, or another dark band between the two light ones in eastern specimens.
In the wild, the Sunburst Butterflyfish is found at depths of 4–61 meters, usually in deeper lagoons and channels and seaward reefs, swimming singly, or (particularly during breeding) in pairs. These fish are oviparous.
They are omnivores, feeding mainly on soft coral polyps (especially Litophyton viridis and Sarcophyton tracheliophorum), algae and zooplankton. In the aquarium, Chaetodon kleinii will eat meaty food such as mysis. Its coral-eating habits can become a nuisance, but on the other hand they are fond of Aiptasia, small sea anemones that often become a pest in seawater aquaria. (text source: Wikipedia)
Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Panda butterflyfish [Chaetodon adiergastos]


The Philippine Butterflyfish or Panda butterflyfish, Chaetodon adiergastos, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the western Pacific, from the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan to Java and northwestern Australia.

It grows to a maximum length of 20 cm (nearly 8 in). The body is white with diagonal brown stripes on the sides. The dorsal, caudal, anal and pelvic fins are yellow. There are rounded broad black bands on the face, covering the eye, but not continuous from one side of the body to the other but with a separate black spot centered on the forehead.
It belongs to the large subgenus Rabdophorus which might warrant recognition as a distinct genus. In this group, it appears to belong to a loose group including such species as the Black Butterflyfish (C. flavirostris), Diagonal Butterflyfish (C. fasciatus), Raccoon Butterflyfish (C. lunula) and perhaps also the unusual Red-tailed Butterflyfish (C. collare). Although the coloration of this group varies quite a lot, they are all largish butterflyfishes with an oval outline, and most have a pattern of ascending oblique stripes on the flanks. Except in the Red-tailed Butterflyfish, there is at least a vestigial form of the “raccoon” mask, with a white space between the dark crown and eye areas.

The Philippine Butterflyfish is found in coral reefs at depths of 3-25 m and occurs in pairs or groups, usually near soft coral. Juveniles are solitary and found on shallow protected reefs or in estuaries.

Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Spot-banded butterflyfish [Chaetodon punctatofasciatus]


The Spot-banded Butterflyfish or Spotband butterflyfish (Chaetodon punctatofasciatus) is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae).
It is found in the Indo-Pacific region from Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean to the Line Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to the Rowley Shoals and the northern Great Barrier Reef, and throughout Micronesia. Replaced by its close relative the Peppered Butterflyfish (C. guttatissimus) in the Indian Ocean, these two species are sympatric from Christmas Island to Bali.[1]
This is one of the members of the subgenus Exornator. With the Peppered Butterflyfish it is part of a close-knit group which also includes the Pebbled Butterflyfish (C. multicinctus) and the Sunset Butterflyfish (C. pelewensis). It is suspected that these four are able to produce fertile hybrids. If the genus Chaetodon is split up, Exornator might become a subgenus of Lepidochaetodon.[2]
The Spot-banded Butterflyfish grows to a maximum of 12 cm long. Its body is pale grey with close-set grey spots which are aligned in vertical bands, interspersed with yellow, on the upper sides and form horizontal rows on the lower sides. The dorsal fin has a yellow margin and there is a bright orange patch running through the caudal peduncle.[1]
It is found in coral-rich areas and clear waters of seaward and lagoon reefs. This fish feeds on filamentous algae and coral polyps and other benthic invertebrates.

Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Mirror butterflyfish [Chaetodon speculum]


The Mirror Butterflyfish or Oval-spot butterflyfish, Chaetodon speculum, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans from Indonesia to Japan and south to the Great Barrier Reef and Papua New Guinea. The species has also been reported from Madagascar, Mauritius and Reunion.
It grows to a maximum of 18 cm (7 in) in length. The body color is a bright to orange-yellow with a big black blotch below the dorsal fin and a vertical black bar running through the eye.
Like the other butterflyfishes with angular yellow bodies with black eyestripes and a single differently-colored patch (except in the quite basal Blue-lashed Butterflyfish, C. bennetti), it belongs in the subgenus Tetrachaetodon. Among this group it seems to be particularly close to the Zanzibar Butterflyfish (C. zanzibarensis) which has a smaller black blotch and traces of horizontal stripes on the flanks. If Chaetodon is split up, the subgenus Tetrachaetodon would be placed in Megaprotodon.
The Mirror Butterflyfish is found in coral reefs at depths between 3 and 30 m. It favors coastal reef slopes rich in hydroids and sea anemones. Small juveniles hide in coral thickets. Usually, this species is solitary and relatively uncommon. They feed on coral polyps and invertebrates.

Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi

Blackspotted puffer [Arothron nigropunctatus]


The blackspotted puffer or dog-faced puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, is a pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae, and can be found in reefs throughout the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. It reaches a maximum length of 33 cm.
It has a round shape with a head and snout which at times looks like a seal or a dog. It can come in a variety of colors, although most commonly blue. The distinctive identifying item are the black spots. It feeds on algae, corals, sponges, sea squirts, crustaceans and molluscs.
Like most puffers, blackspotted puffers are highly poisonous, making them dangerous or even deadly to eat.

Pictures: Misool Islands, Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia by Sami Salmenkivi