Chaetodon trifasciatus Park, 1797
Melon butterflyfish
photo by Patzner, R.

Family:  Chaetodontidae (Butterflyfishes)
Max. size:  15 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range - 30 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian and Tuamoto islands. However, the Pacific population has been recognized as a distinct subspecies (Chaetodon trifasciatus lunulatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1825) by Burgess (Ref. 4855) while according to Randall, pers. comm. 1995, Chaetodon trifasciatus occurs only in the Indian Ocean, while Chaetodon lunulatus occurs only in the Pacific.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 13-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-22; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 18-21. Description: Body pale orange, dorsally and posteriorly blue, diagonal stripes nearly horizontal, purple; eye bar black, margin yellow; anal fin bar black, margin yellow, base reddish; caudal fin base also reddish. Distinguished by the orange caudal peduncle (Ref. 48636). Tip of caudal fin is transparent (Ref 4855). Snout length 3.3-4.4 in HL. Body depth 1.5-1.8 in SL (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Occur in coral-rich lagoons and semi-protected seaward reefs. Territorial and aggressive to other Chaetodon. Small juveniles secretive in corals (Ref. 48636). Swim in pairs. Feed exclusively on coral polyps, particularly of the Pocillopora type (Ref. 5503, 48636). Oviparous (Ref. 205), monogamous (Ref. 52884). Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 October 2009 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 05.06.92
Modified by: Valdestamon, Roxanne Rei - 22.05.15
Checked by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 12.08.94

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