Also known as Coralfishes, Crescent-masked Butterflyfish, Halfmoon butterflyfish, Lunule Butterflyfish, Moon Butterflyfish, Raccoon Butterfly, Raccoon Coralfish, Red-striped Butterflyfish, Spotted Butterflyfish.
Found singly, pairs or in schools over shallow areas of lagoons, seaward and outer reefs.
They feed on coral polyps, tentacles of featherdusters, Christmas-tree worms, benthic invertebrates and nudibranchs.
Length - 20cm
Depth - 0-170m
Widespread Indo-Pacific and Southeast Atlantic
Butterflyfishes have very fine hair like teeth that enable them to pick out small organisms inaccessible to most other fish for eating.
They thrive mainly on a diet of coral polyps, tentacles of featherdusters and Christmas-tree worms. As these food sources all zap back into their shells, butterflyfishes need to be able to hover motionless while picking at the coral and to dart swiftly over short distances to get the worm before it retracts. They do this by using their Pectoral fins as oars to brake, sprint, turn and even reverse.