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Species: Prognathodes aya, Bank Butterflyfish

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white; 2 black diagonal bars - through eye & D to A

Prognathodes aya (Jordan, 1886)

Bank Butterflyfish

Body a strongly compressed oval disc; mouth small, at end of a moderately long, pointed snout; cheek bone free and smooth; teeth long and slender, brush-like, in bands on jaws; dorsal fin XIII 18-19, fin triangular, with front spines longest, membranes between anterior dorsal spines deeply incised; anal rays III, 15, 2nd anal spine longer than 3rd; pectoral rays 13; rear edges of dorsal and anal fins vertical; tail edge straight to rounded; scales rough, covering head and body, a low scaly sheath on base of dorsal fin; lateral line in a high arch, incomplete (ends under dorsal fin), with 37-40 scales; with a large "axillary process" scale at the upper base of the pelvic fins.

White, sometimes tinged with yellow; a white-bordered black bar angled back from middle of spinous dorsal to end of soft anal; black bar angled forward from front of dorsal fin through eye; rest of dorsal fin yellow and white.

Size: grows to 17 cm.

Habitat: on rocky and coral reefs.

Depth range: 20-179 m.

N Carolina to the Gulf of Mexico; SW Cuba

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • GC endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 17
Depth Range Min
  • 20
Depth Range Max
  • 179