Meet our September Fish of the Month, the Masked Butterflyfish, Chaetodon semilarvatus!
Survey Regions: The Masked Butterflyfish is found in from the Red Sea to the Guld of Aden. This area is part of the Indian Ocean & Red Sea (IORS) survey region. Click here to see a distribution report for this species.
Size: They grow to about 10 inches long.
Identifying Features: The Masked Butterflyfish is bright yellow with a blue eye patch shaped like an upside-down teardrop. They also have a series of dusky vertical lines on the body.
Fun Facts: Butterflyfish eat mostly coral polyps and the tentacles of feather duster and Christmas tree worms. They have very fine, hair-like teeth that allow them to pick out small, hard-to-reach species that other fish cannot reach. Their family name, Chaetodontidae, is Latin for bristle tooth. Most butterflyfish species, including the Masked Butterflyifhs, are normally seen in pairs, although the Masked Butterflyfish may also be seen in small groups or even larger spawning aggregations.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month.
Photo by Robert Cox.