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Saddleback Butterfly


Saddleback Butterfly
Chaetodon ephippium
Place of origin: 
West Pacific and eastern Indian Ocean. Clear coastal to outer reefs. Adults often in pairs. Juveniles solitary and inshore, often silty reefs. Readily identified  by the obvious black area over the back and dorsal fin, bordered by a white band below. Length to 24cm.

The members of the family Chaetodontidae, popularly know as butterflyfishes, coralfishes and bannerfishes. Most species of butterflyfish live in the warm tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific (about 90%) with the remainder in the Atlantic. Only a few species are found in subtropical waters, bordering onto subtemperate zones. The butterflyfish have a highly compressed body in which the back is raised , forming an elongate-oval to near circular shape in some; a small protactible mouth with brush-like teeth in the jaws; a continuous dorsal fin with strong and sharp spines in the anterior section, followed by a large-surface soft part; an anal fin mirroring the soft part of the dorsal fin , headed by 3-5 strong spines, of which the 2nd is often greatly enlarged.

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