Animal Species:Citron Butterflyfish, Chaetodon citrinellus Cuvier, 1831

The Citron Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It occurs in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

Citron Butterflyfish at Pixie's Pinnacle

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Citron Butterflyfish

Alternative Name/s

Citron Coralfish, Speckled Butterflyfish

Identification

The Citron Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It is white to yellow with numerous dots on the body. A black bar passes through the eye, and the caudal fin is transparent.

The species bears a superficial resemblance to several other species including Gunther's butterflyfish Chaetodon guentheri. The black lower anal fin margin of C. citrinellus distinguishes it from other species.

Size range

The species grows to 13 cm in length.

Distribution

The Citron Butterflyfish is recorded from tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known to occur from central to north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef to central New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Chaetodon citrinellus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Citron Butterflyfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is usually found in very shallow (1 m to 3 m) coral reefs, however it is sometimes seen in water over 30 m deep.

Feeding and Diet

It eats coral polyps, algae, and polychaete worms.

Classification

Species:
citrinellus
Genus:
Chaetodon
Family:
Chaetodontidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Citron Butterflyfish, Chaetodon citrinellus, Chaetodontidae, brown, green, yellow, white, black stripe, normal fish, 10 cm - 30 cm, dots and spots, coral reef, marine, adult,