Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

EspaƱol  Contact

Family: CHAETODONTIDAE, Butterflyfishes


All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body = v compressed disc
long narrow snout
mouth small; small brush-like teeth
preopercle without spine
large scale at base of pelvic

FAMILY CHAETODONTIDAE

BUTTERFLYFISHES

Chaetodontids have deep, strongly compressed bodies, small extendible mouths at the end of an elongated snout of varying length; bands of small brush-like teeth on jaw; no strong spine on preopercle; 1 continuous dorsal fin, VI-XVI stout spines, membranes between the front spines are deeply indented, no notch between the spiny and soft portions; anal fin III-V stout spines; tail fin varies from rounded to slightly concave; scales rough, covering head, body, and median fins; a large "axillary process" scale at the upper base of the pelvic fins.

The family is worldwide and contains 14 genera and 132 species, which occur mainly in tropical seas around coral reefs. There are 7 species in 2 genera known from the Greater Caribbean, 1 endemic, 5 W Atlantic and 1 Pan-Atlantic.

PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER BURGESS (2002)