Citron Butterflyfish Click to enlarge image
A Citron Butterflyfish at a depth of 15 m, "Pixie's Pinnacle", Ribbon Reefs north of Port Douglas, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, December 1999. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    citrinellus
    Genus
    Chaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 13 cm in length.

Introduction

The Citron Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It occurs in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-West and Central Pacific.

Identification

The Citron Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It is white to yellow with numerous dots on the body. A black bar passes through the eye, and the caudal fin is transparent.

The species bears a superficial resemblance to several other species including Gunther's butterflyfish Chaetodon guentheri. The black lower anal fin margin of C. citrinellus distinguishes it from other species.

Habitat

The species is usually found in very shallow (1 m to 3 m) coral reefs, however it is sometimes seen in water over 30 m deep.

Distribution

The Citron Butterflyfish is recorded from tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known to occur from central to north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef to central 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 coral polyps, algae, and polychaete worms.

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