The long snout of this butterflyfish allows it to hunt tiny invertebrates and pull them from small spaces. This feature develops prominently as the fish reaches adulthood.
  • Size

    8 inches (20 cm)
  • Diet

    Benthic invertebrates
  • Range

    Western Pacific from the Andaman Sea to the Ryukyu Islands and Australia
  • Habitat

    Rocky shores, coral reefs, estuaries and on silty inner reefs

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.

Animal Fact

This butterflyfish is found primarily in shallow water

Diet / Feeding

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

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).

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
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