Ocellate Butterflyfish, Parachaetodon ocellatus Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Ocellate Butterflyfish in a seagrass bed, eastern side of Wave Break Island, Queensland, 07 March 2008. Image: Ian Banks
© Ian Banks

Fast Facts

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

Introduction

The Ocellate Butterflyfish is the only species in the genus Parachaetodon. It occurs in marine waters of the tropical eastern Indian Ocean to the western Pacific.



Identification

The Ocellate Butterflyfish has a triangular dorsal fin that is mostly yellow. The fish has a white ground colour with five brown to orange bands. The first band, which passes through the eye is orange with black edges. The band that runs below the middle of the dorsal fin has a dark spot dorsally. There is an oval-shaped mark with a silver anterior margin on the caudal peduncle.

Habitat

It is found on coral reefs and in bays and estuaries often associated with seagrass beds.

Distribution

The Ocellate Butterflyfish occurs in marine waters of the tropical eastern Indian Ocean to the western Pacific. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country and south on the east coast 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.



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. 2002. Butterflyfishes. Bannerfishes and their relatives. A Comprehensive Guide to Chaetodontidae & Microcanthidae. TMC Publishing. Pp. 208.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.