Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Chaetodon unimaculatus, Teardrop butterflyfish

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white, yellow back + fins
black bars: head & tail base
mid-back: large black spot

Chaetodon unimaculatus Bloch, 1787

Teardrop butterflyfish

Body a strongly compressed oval disc; mouth small, at end of a short, blunt snout; teeth long and slender; dorsal fin with XIII, 21-23; anal fin III, 18-20, 2nd  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); scales rough, covering dorsal and anal fins as well as head and body; 38-47 lateral line scales.

Body white, with a broad black bar through eye and a thin black bar across tail base extending onto rear of dorsal and anal fins; a large black spot on back; yellow dorsal, anal and pelvic fins; tail fin clear.

Size: 20 cm.

Habitat: rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 1-20 m.

An Indo-Pacific species; present as a vagrant in the Galapagos.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Omnivore
  • Hard corals
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • TEP non-endemic
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • Island (s) only
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Length Max
  • 20