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Marqesian Butterfly


Marqesian Butterfly
Chaetodon declivis
Place of origin: 
Central Pacific
Only known from the Marquesas and Line Islands. Occurs in steep walls and deep reefs but occasionally relatively shallow at about 20m. Closely related to, or just a geographical variation of, Chaetodon tinkeri, differing only in colour, having less black, especially noticeable over the posterior back that is mostly orange, but latter varies geographically. The line Islands population is slightly different with smaller dusky spots. Length to 12cm.

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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