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Pearlscale Butterfly - Red Sea


Pearlscale Butterfly - Red Sea
Chaetodon paucifasciatus
Place of origin: 
Red Sea
Red Sea to Gulf of Aden. Various reef habitats and usually at depths over 20m. Adults nearly always in pairs, with the various pairs sometimes forming small aggregations. Readily identified by the red area over the posterior part of the body and chevron lines on side. Juveniles have a black spot on the soft dorsal fin that fades with growth but traces of black are often still evident in this area when adult. Length reported to 14cm, but usually 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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