Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

Fishes of Hawai'i

 Family Chaetodontidae - butterflyfishes

Chaetodon auriga - Threadfin butterflyfish - Kïkäkapu wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: thread off soft dorsal fin, white anterior and yellow posterior with right angle black body barring
Size: to about 20 cm
Habitat: usually found in pairs living in territories on the reef
Diet: omnivorous, polychaetes worms, coral polyps and algae

Chaetodon lunula - Racoon butterflyfish - Kïkäkapu wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: black eyeband followed by white (racoon look); looks yellow during day and dull brown at night
Size: to 20 cm
Habitat: nocturnal on exposed reef, by day it may rest mid-water sometimes in small schools, young found in tidepools
Diet: nocturnal feeders on tube worms, coral polyps and other invertebrates as well as some algae

Chaetodon miliaris - Milletseed butterflyfish - Lau Wiliwili wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: body yellowish, black dots arranged in vertical rows on body
Size: to 14 cm
Habitat: found at all depths on the reef, usually in schools
Diet: planktivore, feeding mainly on zooplankton

Chaetodon multicinctus - Multiband butterflyfish - Kïkäkapu wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: smaller than other butterflyfish, brownish vertical dots (bands) on whitish body
Size: to 10 cm
Habitat: occur in pairs around coral heads
Diet: corallivores: feeding primarily on coral polyps

Chaetodon ornatissimus - Ornate butterflyfish - Kïkäkapu wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: oval body, diagonal orangish stripes on whitish body
Size: to 20 cm
Habitat: found on the reefs feeding on coral, often in pairs
Diet: corallivore: exclusively live coral eaters

Chaetodon quadrimaculatus - Four spot butterflyfish - Lau-hau wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: two white spots below dorsal, blackish dorsally, yellow ventrally
Size: to 15 cm
Habitat: found in pairs on the reef or resting on outer reefs
Diet: corallivore: feeds primarily on coral polyps

Forcipiger flavissimus - Forcepsfish - Lauwiliwili Nukunuku-'oi'oi wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: snout extremely slender and elongate, more than half length of head; body, dorsal, anal and pelvic fins yellow in color; nape and upper half of head black, lower half of head and thorax white; large black spot posteriorly in anal fin
Size: 7.5 - 11.25 cm
Habitat: common on walls and ledges, often swims upside down on the roofs of caves
Diet: feeds on polychaetes and other worms, mysid shrimp, amphipods other small crustaceans and fish eggs


Last update: 1/25/2005