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
Standard Common Name
Baroness Butterflyfish, Baronessa Butterflyfish, Herringbone Coralfish, Pacific Triangular Butterflyfish, Triangular Coralfish
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.
The species grows to 15 cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
- 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
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,