Diagonal butterflyfish

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Diagonal butterflyfish
Chaetodon fasciatus Red Sea.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Chaetodontidae
Genus: Chaetodon (but see text)
Subgenus: Rabdophorus
Species: C. fasciatus
Binomial name
Chaetodon fasciatus
Forsskål, 1775

The diagonal butterflyfish (Chaetodon fasciatus), also known as the Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Red Sea only.[1]

They have a yellow body with 11 diagonal stripes and reach a maximum length of 22 cm (c.9 in).[1] In their native habitat, they swim over and around corals, on which they feed.[2] They have also been observed feeding on gelatinous zooplankton, such as jellyfish (Scyphozoa) and comb jellies (Ctenophora).[3]

It belongs to the large subgenus Rabdophorus which might warrant recognition as a distinct genus. In this group, its closest relative is probably the very similar common raccoon butterflyfish (C. lunula). Other close relatives appear to be the black butterflyfish (C. flavirostris), Philippine butterflyfish (C. adiergastos), and perhaps also the unusual red-tailed butterflyfish (C. collare). Although the coloration of this group varies quite a lot, they are all largish butterflyfishes with an oval outline, and most have a pattern of ascending oblique stripes on the flanks. Except in the red-tailed butterflyfish, there is at least a vestigial form of the "raccoon" mask, with a white space between the dark crown and eye areas.[4]


  1. ^ a b FishBase [2008]
  2. ^ Siliotti (2002)
  3. ^ Bos A.R., Cruz-Rivera E. and Sanad A.M. (2016). "Herbivorous fishes Siganus rivulatus (Siganidae) and Zebrasoma desjardinii (Acanthuridae) feed on Ctenophora and Scyphozoa in the Red Sea". Marine Biodiveristy. doi:10.1007/s12526-016-0454-9. 
  4. ^ 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 fasciatus. 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
  • Siliotti, A. (2002): Fishes of the red sea Geodia, Verona. ISBN 88-87177-42-2