Eastern triangle butterflyfish

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Not to be confused with the triangle butterflyfish (C. triangulum) or the triangulate butterflyfish (C. trifascialis).
Eastern triangle butterflyfish
Bep chaetodon baronessa.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Chaetodontidae
Genus: Chaetodon (but see text)
Subgenus: Gonochaetodon
Species: C. baronessa
Binomial name
Chaetodon baronessa
G. Cuvier, 1829

The eastern triangle butterflyfish, Chaetodon baronessa, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the central Indo-West Pacific region from the Cocos-Keeling Islands and Indonesia in the eastern Indian Ocean to Fiji and Tonga, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia and New South Wales in Australia.[2][3]


It grows to a maximum of 16 cm long.[4] The body has a pattern of alternating cream and grey-brown to purple chevron-shaped bars. There are three dark bars on the head, including one running across the eye.[2]

Habitat and behaviour[edit]

The eastern triangle butterflyfish is found in seaward and lagoon coral reefs. They usually swim around in pairs and are territorial. This species feeds exclusively on the polyps of the tubular Acropora corals.[2]


The triangle butterflyfish (C. triangulum) is its western sister species, replacing C. baronessa in the Indian Ocean. The triangle butterflyfishes and the hooded butterflyfish (C. larvatus) form the subgenus Gonochaetodon. If Chaetodon is split up as some researchers propose, this group might go into Megaprotodon as other high-backed and square-bodied species, but its exact relationships are still not well known.[5]


  1. ^ Rocha, L.A., Pyle, R., Myers, R., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon baronessa. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 10 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b c FishBase (2008)
  3. ^ http://eol.org/pages/1012773/details#distribution
  4. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/summary/5558
  5. ^ Fessler & Westneat (2007), Hsu et al. (2007)


  • Fessler, Jennifer L. & Westneat, Mark W. (2007): Molecular phylogenetics of the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): Taxonomy and biogeography of a global coral reef fish family. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45(1): 50–68. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.018 (HTML abstract)
  • FishBase (2008): Chaetodon baronessa. Version of 2008-JUL-24. Retrieved 2008-SEP-01.
  • Hsu, Kui-Ching; Chen, Jeng-Ping & Shao, Kwang-Tsao (2007): Molecular phylogeny of Chaetodon (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae) in the Indo-West Pacific: evolution in geminate species pairs and species groups. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 14: 77-86. PDF fulltext