Animal Species:Merten's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mertensii (Cuvier, 1831)

Merten's Butterflyfish is most easily recognised by its distinctive colouration. It occurs throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific.

A Merten's Butterflyfish at 'Steve's Bommie'

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Merten's Butterflyfish

Identification

Merten's Butterflyfish is most easily recognised by its distinctive colouration. It is white with 6-7 black chevron-shaped markings on the body. The posterior portion of the body and dorsal, anal and caudal fins are yellow-orange. There is a black, silver-edged bar through they eye and a dark mark on the nape.

Size range

Merten's Butterflyfish grows to 12.5 cm in length.

Distribution

It is a marine species that is widely distributed through the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from the northern Great Barrier Reef south to the central coast of 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 mertensii

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Merten's Butterflyfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

It eats algae and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

Classification

Species:
mertensii
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. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. 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, Merten's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mertensii, Chaetodontidae, White, Yellow, Black, Silver, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,