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.
Standard Common Name
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.
The species grows to 12.5 cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
- Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
- 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
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,