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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Indo-Pacific Reef Habitat (Tropical Diver)
  • Mutualistic Animals (Tropical Diver)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Western Pacific from the Andaman Sea to the Ryukyu Islands and Australia.
  • Found along rocky shores, coral reefs, estuaries and on silty inner reefs.
  • This species is common on coral reefs.
  • Its preferred depth range is 3-82 feet (1-25 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • Readily identifiable by its distinctive coloration and long snout.
  • Body is silvery-white with three broad vertical, orange to copper-colored bars. A narrower copper bar on the head passes through the eye. 
  • Black spot at the base of the second dorsal fin and a thin black bar on the caudal peduncle.
  • Grows to 8 inches (20 cm) in length.

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists primarily of benthic invertebrates.
  • Sometimes used to control Aiptasia, a common nuisance anemone species, in an aquarium.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Forms pairs during breeding and is believed to be monogamous.
  • Larval and juvenile stages have similar marking to the adult, but lack its long snout.

Conservation Status

  • “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List. 

Additional Information

  • Encountered singly or in pairs.
  • Forms pairs during breeding and is believed to be monogamous.
  • Life span is about 10 years.
  • Larval and juvenile stages have similar marking to the adult, but lack its long snout.
  • The long snout is an adaptation for feeding on benthic invertebrates in crevices and holes.
  • Considered difficult to keep in a home aquarium.
  • Other common names include “beaked coralfish” and “copper-banded butterflyfish.”

Sources

A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Allen, G.; Steene, R. and Allen, M., pgs. 176
http://australianmuseum.net.au/Beaked-coralfish-Chelmon-rostratusl-Linneaus-1758
www.fishbase.org
www.discoverlife.org