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Spotfin Butterfly Fish


spot fin butterfly fish

Spotfin butterfly fish (Chaetodon ocellatus) have a black spot on the back of their dorsal fin, hence the name spotfin.

Juveniles also have a second spot on their anal fin that disappears as the fish matures.

The black stripes running through the butterfly fish's eyes helps to confuse predators. Predators can't see the "real" eyes of the fish, and confuse the dark spot on each side of the dorsal fin as the fish's eyes.

They are from the Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico and inhabit shallow coral reefs. Like the other butterfly fishes they belong to the family Chaetodontidae.

Spotfin butterfly fish reach a maximum size of about 6-8 inches (15-20 cm).

These butterfly fish don't make good reef tank fish because they eat both stony and soft corals. In their natural habitat they mostly feed on corals, but in captivity can often be fed finely chopped seafood, and other meaty foods for marine fish, as well as algae.

Sexing spotfin butterfly fish can be difficult because the males and females exhibit the same coloration.