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Species: Chaetodon ocellatus, Spotfin butterflyfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

white, black bar through eye, yellow fins
juv: extra bar through rear D

Chaetodon ocellatus Bloch, 1787

Spotfin butterflyfish

Body a strongly compressed oval disc; mouth small, at end of a short, pointed snout; cheek bone free and smooth; teeth long and slender, in bands of 6-9 rows on each jaw; dorsal fin XII-XIII (front spines not elongated), 18-20; anal fin III, 16-17, 2nd anal spine longer than 3rd; rear edges of dorsal and anal fins bluntly angular; tail edge rounded; scales rough, covering dorsal and anal fins as well as head and body; lateral line in a high arch, incomplete (ends under dorsal fin), with 33-39 scales; with a large "axillary process" scale at the upper base of the pelvic fins.

Adult: Head and body white; a black bar from nape to chest through eye; tail base and dorsal, tail, anal and pelvic fins yellow; a black spot at top rear corner of soft dorsal. Juvenile: similar to adult  but with the addition of a black bar from dorsal to base of soft anal.

Reaches 20 cm.

Lives on reefs; juveniles in seagrass beds.

Depth range: 0-91 m.

New England to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Corallivore
  • Sessile worms
  • Data
  • Soft corals/hydroids
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • All species.
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • All species..
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends North of GC
  • Continent
  • Extends South of GC
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 91