Animal Species:Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis Kner, 1868

The Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.

Lateral view of a Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish

Identification

The Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish has a yellow body with diagonal bands of black spots that become solid lines at the rear of the body. An orange bar with a black margin passes through the eye and the caudal fin base is orange.

Size range

The species grows to 12.5 cm in length.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific, from New Guinea, south to Australia and east to the Tuamoto Islands. In Australia it is known from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland south to the central New South Wales coast and Lord Howe Island.

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 pelewensis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

It typically inhabits offshore reefs with abundant coral cover. It occurs at depths from 2 m to 30 m.

Feeding and Diet

It feeds on coral polyps and benthic invertebrates.

Other behaviours and adaptations

This fish is often seen in pairs. Sometimes one member of the pair is the Spot-Banded Butterflyfish, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus. The Spot-Banded Butterflyfish differs by having vertical bands of black spots rather than diagonal.

Classification

Species:
pelewensis
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. 220.
  2. Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis, fishes, ichthyology, coral, reef, Chaetodontidae, yellow, orange, blue, green, white, black, grey, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, dots/spots, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,