Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    baronessa
    Genus
    Chaetodon
    Family
    Chaetodontidae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 15 cm in length.

Introduction

The Triangular Butterflyfish has a purplish coloured body with yellow chevron-shaped markings on the side. The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific

Identification

The Triangular Butterflyfish has a purplish coloured body with yellow chevron-shaped markings on the side. It has three dark bars on the head and a dark bar with light edges crossing the caudal fin.

Habitat

The Triangular Butterflyfish inhabit reefs and lagoons that contain abundant Acropora coral. It is found in depths between 1 m and 20 m.

Distribution

Triangular Butterflyfish occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian Ocean to the Western Pacific, from the Cocos-Keeling Atoll, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Fiji. In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, south to southern Queensland.

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.

Ozcam map of Triangular Butterflyfish specimens in the Australian Museum. http://ozcam.ala.org.au/occurrences/search?q=Chaetodon%20baronessa&zoom=off#mapView

Feeding and diet

The species feeds on the polyps of Acropora corals.

Other behaviours and adaptations

The fish's highly compressed body allows it to dart between coral branches when threatened.

It is often seen in pairs and is highly territorial.

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. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  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.