Butterflyfish are in the family Chaetodontidae.
They have deep, compressed bodies (oval-shaped when side on, thin when head on).
They have small, pointed mouths, with small, brush-like teeth.
Corals are small animals (polyps) that are closely related to sea anemones and jellyfish.
Most corals create colonies, by growing a large rocky skeleton that we see as a solid coral rock. The soft bodied polyps live in the outer edge of this skeleton, on top of the empty skeletons of previous generations. Only the outer layer of a coral boulder is alive.
Family Chaetodontidae – Butterflyfishes Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) No. of Genera: 10 No. of Species: 114 Environment: Fresh: No Brackish: Yes Marine: Yes Aquarium: many Order: Perciformes First Fossil Record: lower Tertiary, lower Eocene Ref.: Berg, L.S..1958 Main Ref.: Nelson, J.S..1994 […]
The butterflyfish are a group of conspicuous tropical marine fish of the family Chaetodontidae. Found mostly on the reefs of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, butterflyfish are fairly small, most from 12 to 22 cm in length. The largest species, the lined butterflyfish, Chaetodon lineolatus, grows to 30 cm. There are approximately 115 species in eleven genera. A number of species pairs occur in the Indian and Pacific oceans and their taxonomy has often been confused by whether these should be considered species or subspecies. Recent work using DNA sequences has resolved many of these questions.  They should not be confused with the freshwater butterflyfish of the family Pantodontidae.