Teardrop Butterflyfish, Chaetodon unimaculatus Click to enlarge image
A Teardrop Butterflyfish at a depth of 20m, Niue, 26th July, 2012. Image: Hickson Fergusson
© Hickson Fergusson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    unimaculatus
    Genus
    Chaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 20 cm in length.

Introduction

The Teardrop Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. The species occurs in shallow tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.



Identification

The Teardrop Butterflyfish can be recognised by its colouration. The dorsal, anal and ventral fins are yellow. The lower sides are white. There is a black spot on the upper side and a black bar passing though the eye. A black line crosses the caudal peduncle and the adjacent dorsal and anal fins.

Distribution

The Teardrop Butterflyfish occurs in the Western Pacific. In Australia it is known form the north-western coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north (except for parts of the Arafura Sea and the Gulf of Carpentaria) and 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

Its diet includes hard and soft corals, marine invertebrates and filamentous algae.

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. 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.