Animal Species:Triangular Butterflyfish, Chaetodon baronessa Cuvier, 1831

The Triangular Butterflyfish has a purplish coloured body with yellow chevron-shaped markings on the side. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific

Triangular Butterflyfish at Wishbone Reef

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Triangular Butterflyfish

Alternative Name/s

Baroness Butterflyfish, Baronessa Butterflyfish, Herringbone Coralfish, Pacific Triangular Butterflyfish, Triangular Coralfish

Identification

The Triangular Butterflyfish has a purplish coloured body with yellow chevron-shaped markings on the side. It has three dark bars on the head and a dark bar with light edges crossing the caudal fin.

Size range

The species grows to 15 cm in length.

Distribution

Triangular Butterflyfish occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific, from the Cocos-Keeling Atoll, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Fiji. In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, south to southern Queensland.

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 baronessa

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Triangular Butterflyfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Triangular Butterflyfish inhabit reefs and lagoons that contain abundant Acropora coral. It is found in depths between 1 m and 20 m.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds on the polyps of Acropora corals.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The fish's highly compressed body allows it to dart between coral branches when threatened.

It is often seen in pairs and is highly territorial.

Classification

Species:
baronessa
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. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  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, Chaetodon baronessa, Triangular Butterflyfish, Chaetodontidae, red, yellow, grey, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, mottled, stripes or bands, tropical marine, adult, stubby snout,