Bluespot Butterflyfish Click to enlarge image
A Bluespot Butterflyfish at a depth of 12m, Bougainville Reef, Coral Sea, December 2000. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    plebeius
    Genus
    Chaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The Bluespot Butterflyfish grows to 15 cm in length.

Introduction

The Bluespot Butterflyfish are usually found in pairs. They live off coastal and inner reefs feeding mainly on coral polyps.

Identification

The Bluespot Butterflyfish has thin dark stripes on the body and a patch of blue on the upper sides. There is a black spot on the caudal peduncle and a blue-edged black bar through the eye. Juveniles resemble adults but lack the blue patch on the sides of the body.


Bluespot Butterflyfish, Chaetodon plebeius
A larval Bluespot Butterflyfish in an aquarium. The fish was caught close to the surface during a fieldtrip to Lizard Island over January and February 2008. Image: Colin Wen
© Colin Wen

Distribution

The species lives in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-Australian archipelago, north to Japan and east to Fiji. In Australia it is recorded from southern to north-western Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef to northern 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.



Feeding and diet

It eats mostly coral polyps.

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. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  7. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.