Merten's Butterflyfish Click to enlarge image
A Merten's Butterflyfish at a depth of 17m, Steve's Bommie, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef, off Cooktown, Queensland, December 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    mertensii
    Genus
    Chaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Merten's Butterflyfish grows to 12.5 cm in length.

Introduction

Merten's Butterflyfish is most easily recognised by its distinctive colouration. It occurs throughout much of the Indo-West Pacific.



Identification

Merten's Butterflyfish is most easily recognised by its distinctive colouration. It is white with 6-7 black chevron-shaped markings on the body. The posterior portion of the body and dorsal, anal and caudal fins are yellow-orange. There is a black, silver-edged bar through they eye and a dark mark on the nape.

Distribution

It is a marine species that is widely distributed through the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from the northern Great Barrier Reef south to the central coast of 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 algae and bottom-dwelling invertebrates.

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. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  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.