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Rainford's Butterfly


Rainford's Butterfly
Chaetodon rainfordi
Place of origin: 
Coral Sea
Eastern Australia, ranging to southern PNG in the north and islands of the northern NSW coast, and Lord Howe Island. Commonly found on inner reefs and enters estuaries where in tidal channels, usually occurring in mixed coral and algae habitats. Feeds on algae and often seen nibbling on coral polyps. Identified by its colouration and shape. Length to 14cm, rarely 16cm.

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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