Peppered butterflyfish

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Peppered Butterflyfish
Chaetodon guttatissimus 01.jpg
Diani, Kenya
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Chaetodontidae
Genus: Chaetodon (but see text)
Subgenus: Exornator
Species: C. guttatissimus
Binomial name
Chaetodon guttatissimus
E. T. Bennett, 1833

The Peppered Butterflyfish (Chaetodon guttatissimus) is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Indian Ocean from the Red Sea south to Durban, South Africa and east to Christmas Island and western Thailand and Bali.[1]

This is one of the members of the subgenus Exornator. It is part of a close-knit group which also includes the Pebbled Butterflyfish (C. multicinctus), the Spot-banded Butterflyfish (C. punctatofasciatus) and the Sunset Butterflyfish (C. pelewensis). It is suspected that these four are able to produce fertile hybrids. If the genus Chaetodon is split up, Exornator might become a subgenus of Lepidochaetodon.[2][3]

The Peppered Butterflyfish grows to a maximum length of 12 cm (not quite 5 in). The body is pale cream-yellow with close-set grey spots which are aligned in a vertical pattern on the upper sides and horizontal rows on the lower sides. The dorsal fin has a yellow margin and there is a bright orange patch above the caudal peduncle.[1]

It is found in seaward and lagoon reefs, sometimes together with the Spot-banded Butterflyfish. It feeds on polychaetes, coral polyps, and algae.[1]


  1. ^ a b c FishBase [2008]: Chaetodon guttatissimus. Retrieved 1 September 2008.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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