Chaetodon vagabundus Linnaeus, 1758
Vagabond butterflyfish
photo by Muséum-Aquarium de Nancy/D. Terver

Family:  Chaetodontidae (Butterflyfishes)
Max. size:  23 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 30 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Line and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to the Lord Howe and the Austral islands. Closely related to Chaetodon decussatus.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 13-13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 23-25; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 19-22. This species is distinguished by the following characters: snout length 2.5-3.2 in head length; greatest body depth 1.5-1.7 in SL. Body pattern chevron with narrow lines on side; black band across posterior body which does not include entire rear part of dorsal fin (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Adults are found in reef flats, lagoon and seaward reefs and sometimes in turbid waters subject to freshwater runoff swimming in pairs. They are omnivorous, feeding on algae, coral polyps, crustaceans and worms (Ref. 5503). They are oviparous (Ref. 205) and monogamous (Ref. 52884). Stable monogamous pairs with both pair members jointly defending a feeding territory against other pairs (Ref. 58331) occur, but often accompany other species without being aggressive. They are easily maintained in tanks. Minimum depth reported taken from Ref. 128797.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 09 October 2009 Ref. (126983)
Threat to humans:  harmless

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