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Kite Butterflyfish
   

Fig 1











 

Order : Perciformes
Family : CHAETODONTIDAE
Species : Parachaetodon ocellatus
Maximum Length : 18 cm

The Kite Butterflyfish, also called the Ocellate Coralfish or Sixspine Butterflyfish, is the only species belonging to the genus Parachaetodon, in the family Chaetodontidae.

It inhabits shallow coastal marine habitats such as coral reefs and the deepest part of the intertidal zone with sandy or silty bottoms.

The Kite Butterflyfish exhibits the typical body form of butterflyfishes such as a laterally flattened body, and a dorsal fin which extends from behind the head to the base of the tail fin.  In common with other species, the patterning includes a vertical band passing through the eye, which possibly serves to confuse potential predators. The mouth is small and protrudes from the head.

This species feeds on a variety of algae, seaweed and invertebrates. During the breeding season, male and female pairs swim gracefully in unison.

The Kite Butterflyfish is widespread throughout the Southeast Asia region, extending to the western Pacific Ocean and Australia. In the Indian Ocean it occurs in India, the Maldives, Madagascar and East Africa.


Fig 1 : Specimen found at low tide amongst seagrass growing on a sandy/silty substrate.  Seen at Changi Beach, Singapore.


References : F3