Pyramid butterflyfish

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Pyramid butterflyfish
Pyramid Butterflyfish.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Chaetodontidae
Genus: Hemitaurichthys
Species: H. polylepis
Binomial name
Hemitaurichthys polylepis
(Bleeker, 1857)
Synonyms
  • Chaetodon polylepis Bleeker, 1857

The pyramid butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys polylepis) is a species of fish belonging to the family Chaetodontidae, native from central Indo-Pacific.

Description[edit]

The pyramid butterflyfish is a small-sized fish that can reach a maximum length of 18 cm.[1]

Its body is compressed laterally with a rounded body profile, and its snout protrudes forwards slightly with a small protrusible (extendable) mouth. Its very characteristic livery leaves no doubt about the identification.

A dark brown-yellow area, the colour of which may vary in intensity, fully masks the head and extends to a line from the first rays of the dorsal fin to the start of its pelvic fins.

The rest of its body is white, peduncle and caudal fin included. Insertion of yellow-orange areas at the top of the side form a characteristic pyramidal pattern, hence the name of the fish. The anal fin is also yellow-orange.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The pyramid butterflyfish is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific from Cocos Keeling and Christmas islands to Polynesia and from south Japan to New-Caledonia.[2][3]

The pyramid butterflyfish appreciates the outer reef slopes from which it can swim out into open water to get its food. It can be seen at depths from 3 to 60 meters deep.[4]

Biology[edit]

The pyramid butterflyfish lives in large schools, and feeds on plankton in open water out of its shelter reef.[5]

Conservation status[edit]

The species as a planktivorous could be affected by climate-induced reductions in planktonic productivity. There do not appear to be any current threats to this species and it is listed as Least Concern (LC) by the IUCN.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lieske & Myers,Coral reef fishes,Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780691089959
  2. ^ Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Hemitaurichthys polylepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 08 September 2015.
  3. ^ Myers, R.F., 1999. Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia, 3rd revised and expanded edition. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 330 p.
  4. ^ Allen, G.R. and M.V. Erdmann, 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.
  5. ^ Randall, J.E., 1985. Guide to Hawaiian reef fishes. Harrowood Books, Newtown Square, PA 19073, USA. 74 p.
  6. ^ Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Hemitaurichthys polylepis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 08 September 2015.