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Heniochus Butterfly - Chieftan


Heniochus Butterfly - Chieftan
Heniochus pleurotaenia
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Place of origin: 
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Indian Ocean, Maldives to Java. Occurs at various depths, often in gutters on shallow reef crests with some surge. Usually in mixed algae and coral habitats to about 15m depth, but may go deeper offshore. Very similar to its Pacific sibling H.varius but has a pale area over the middle of the body. Juveniles have a short white banner. Adults pair in mainland waters and school in oceanic locations. Length to 17cm.

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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