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Pearlscale Butterfly - Fiji


Pearlscale Butterfly - Fiji
Chaetodon mertensii
Place of origin: 
West Pacific, Japan & Guam to eastern Australia and central Pacific. Clear coastal and outer reefs. Adults usually in pairs. Has 4-5 chevron bars. Eye bar not interrupted, but may hybridise with C.xanthurus and such individuals may differ.

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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