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Hawaiian Four Spot Butterfly


Hawaiian Four Spot Butterfly
Chaetodon quadrimaculatus
Place of origin: 
Central Pacific
Occurs mainly in the central Pacific, ranging to southern Japan and Taiwan in the west, and Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia in the east. Adults usually in pairs on shallow exposed reefs subject to surge with mixed algae and coral growth. Feeds on coral polyps and small invertebrates. Readily identified by the yellow-orange colouration and the conspicuous white spots. Latter fades at night and interestingly such spots are part of the night-pattern in related species. Length to 16cm.

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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