Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Chaetodon, Butterflyfishes, Common Butterflyfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

snout short
D front spines not elongate
rear edges D & A blunt, angular



Body a strongly compressed oval disc; mouth small, at end of a short, pointed snout that is 30-37% head length; cheek bone free and smooth; bands of small, slender, brush-like teeth on jaws; no strong spine on preopercle; dorsal fin with XI-XVI spines, front spines not elongated; 2nd anal spine longer than 3rd; rear edges of dorsal and anal fins bluntly angular; tail edge straight to rounded; lateral line in a high arch, incomplete (ends under dorsal fin), with 22-55 scales; scales rough, covering dorsal and anal fins as well as head and body; with a large "axillary process" scale at the upper base of the pelvic fins.

A circumtropical genus with about 92 species; 3 W Atlantic and 1 pan-Atlantic species occur in our region.