Atoll Butterflyfish, also known as the Yellowback Butterflyfish or Merten’s Butterflyfish, is a type of marine fish with the scientific name Chaetodon mertensii.
It belongs to the butterflyfish family called Chaetodontidae and can be found in the western Pacific Ocean.
This fish lives in deep lagoons and reefs near the ocean surface. It’s usually seen alone or in pairs.
Atoll butterflyfish diet consists of algae and small bottom-dwelling creatures like invertebrates. This fish is not safe for coral reefs.
Atoll Butterflyfish Interesting Facts
- Atoll butterflyfish are found in the western Pacific Ocean, living near coral reefs at depths of 10 to 120 meters.
- Their diet consists of algae and small invertebrates found on the ocean floor.
- These fish have a unique appearance with white bodies, black chevron-shaped bands, and yellow fins and tails.
Atoll Butterflyfish Habitat
Atoll butterflyfish lives in the Pacific Ocean, from the Ryukyu Islands to the Philippines, and reaches as far as Lord Howe, Rapa, and Tuamoto islands.
In other areas, it’s replaced by different species of butterflyfish: Chaetodon madagascariensis in the Indian Ocean, Chaetodon xanthurus in Southeast Asia, and Chaetodon paucifasciatus in the Red Sea.
Atoll butterflyfish is a marine fish that lives near coral reefs. It doesn’t migrate and is found at depths of 10 to 120 meters (33 to 394 feet).
This fish prefers tropical waters with a latitude range between 30°N to 33°S.
Atoll Butterflyfish Physical Characteristics
Size: 4.9 inches (12.5 centimeters)
Atoll butterflyfish is a small fish with a maximum length of 4.9 inches (12.5 centimeters).
It has 12 to 14 dorsal spines, 21 to 23 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines, and 16 to 17 soft anal rays.
Its body is white with four to five blackish chevron-shaped bands on its sides. The back part of the fish’s body, nearby fins, and tail are yellow.
A vertical black stripe covers the fish’s eye without any breaks.
The snout measures between about one-third to one-fourth of the head length while the body depth is roughly half the standard length.
Atoll Butterflyfish Reproduction
Atoll butterflyfish lay eggs (oviparous) and form pairs during mating season.
They may breed with another species called C. xanthurus.