The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count


Some Butterflyfish only eat the tentacles of the actual coral animals, and so are totally dependant on good coral health.

Others are less choosy and may feed on other small animals or algae around the reef, or even out in the deeper water.

If you find a reef is dominated by one or two species you may be able to draw some conclusions about the reef type in that area.

Fiji’s Butterflyfish species and the food they eat.

Common nameScientific nameHard CoralsSoft CoralsBenthic InvertebratesAlgaeZooplankton
Bennetts butterflyChaetodon bennettiX    
Black butterflyChaetodon flavirostrisX XX 
Blackbacked butterflyChaetodon melannotusXX   
Bluespot butterflyChaetodon plebeiusX    
Cheveroned butterflyChaetodon trifascialisX  X 
Dot and dash butterflyChaetodon pelewensisX X  
Dotted butterflyChaetodon semeion     
Double-saddled butterflyChaetodon ulietensis  XX 
Forceps butterfly Forcipiger flavissimus  X  
Fourspot butterfly Chaetodon quadrimaculatusX    
Klein’s butterflyChaetodon kleinii  X X
Latticed butterflyChaetodon rafflessiXXXXX
Lined butterflyChaetodon linoelatus XXX 
Long-nosed butterflyForcipiger longirostris  X  
Merten’s butterflyChaetodon mertensii  XX 
Ornate butterflyChaetodon ornatissimusX    
Pyramid butterflyHemitaurichthys polylepsis    X
Racoon butterflyChaetodon lunulaXXXXX
Redfin butterflyChaetodon lunulatusX    
Reticulated butterflyChaetodon reticulatusX    
Saddled butterflyChaetodon ephippiumXXXXX
Speckled butterflyChaetodon citrinellusXXXXX
Spot-nape butterflyChaetodon oxycephalus X   
Teardrop butterflyChaetodon unimaculatusXXXXX
Threadfin butterflyChaetodon aurigaXXXXX
Triangle butterflyChaetodon baronessaX    
Vagabond butterflyChaetodon vagabundusXXXXX

For more Butterflyfish information:

A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes

Gerald R Allen, Roger Steene, Mark Allen.

ISBN 0-9661720-1-9; Buy New: $20.00

Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide Reef Fishes of the World

Lieske and Myers, ISBN 962-593-140-6

Corals of the World, Vol. 1, 2, 3

Jen Veron, ISBN 0-642-32236-8

Marine Life of Fiji and Tonga: A Video Identification Guide

Josh Jensen and Liz Harlin


A relational database with information to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, and zoologists.