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Melanotus Butterfly - Fiji


Melanotus Butterfly - Fiji
Chaetodon melannotus
Place of origin: 
Widespread Indo-West Pacific, ranging to sub-tropical zones. Coastal to outer reef habitats coral or rock habitats. Juveniles inshore, usually amongst rocky boulders. Adults usually in pairs or travelling  in small groups. Distinguished from the similar Chaetodon ocellicaudus by the all yellow ventral fins. Length to 14cm.

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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