The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count

Chaetodon ephippium Cuvier, 1831

Family: Chaetodontidae (Butterflyfishes)
Order: Perciformes (perch-likes)
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
FishBase name: Saddle butterflyfish
Max. size: 30.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; Ref. 559)

Climate: tropical; 30°N – 30°S

Importance: fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial; price category: not marketed/unknown

Environment: reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 – 30 m

Saddled butterflyfish, FijiResilience: High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months(Preliminary K or Fecundity.) Vulnerability: Low vulnerability (20.19), based on Lmax and K (Ref. 59153)

Distribution: Gazetteer Indo-Pacific: Sri Lanka (Ref. 10361) and Cocos-Keeling Islands to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to Rowley Shoals and New South Wales, Australia.

Morphology: Dorsal spines (total): 12 – 14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 21 – 25; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 20 – 23. Overall color is yellowish grey with a large black spot bordered below by a broad white band on the back, and wavy blue lines on the lower sides. Adults have a filament extending posteriorly from the upper part of the soft portion of the dorsal fin.

Biology: Occur in lagoons and seaward reefs to a depth of 30 m, prefer coral-rich and clear water areas (Ref. 205). Engybenthic (Ref. 58302). Encountered singly, in pairs or small groups (adults often in pairs; juveniles solitary and inshore). Feed on filamentous algae, small invertebrates, coral polyps, and fish eggs. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).

Red List Status: Not Evaluated (Ref. 57073)

Dangerous: harmless