Lord Howe Butterflyfish Click to enlarge image
A Lord Howe Butterflyfish at a depth of 6m, Tathra Wharf, New South Wales, 10 December 2009. Image: Sascha Schulz
© Sascha Schulz

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    howensis
    Genus
    Amphichaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 18 cm in length.

Introduction

The Lord Howe Butterflyfish has a pointed snout and five black bands on the sides. It occurs in subtropical marine waters along the eastern coastline of Australia and as its standard name suggests, from Lord Howe Island.

Identification

The Lord Howe Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. It is yellow above fading to silver on the sides and below. There are five black bands on the sides and another along the top of the snout. The pelvic fins are white anteriorly and black posteriorly. This species has a moderately elongate snout and long dorsal and anal spines.

Habitat

The species occurs on rocky reefs with coral cover. It is known from depths between 10 m and 50 m.

Distribution

The Lord Howe Butterflyfish occurs in warm temperate waters in Australia and New Zealand. In Australia it is known from southern Queensland to southern New South Wales. It is also recorded from Norfolk Island and Lord Howe Island.

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

The Lord Howe Butterflyfish eats small invertebrates.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Adults are usually seen in pairs. Juveniles are often solitary.

References

  1. Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Butterflyfishes. Bannerfishes and their relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Chaetodontidae & Microcanthidae. TMC Publishing. Pp. 208.