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Somali Butterfly


Somali Butterfly
Chaetodon leucopleura
Place of origin: 
Western Indian Ocean
Western Indian Ocean, ranging from Zanzibar in the south of Oman in the north, and ranges into the southern Red Sea. Various reef habitats, often on rubble and sand adjacent to reefs or large coral heads at moderate depths. Usually in depths over 20m, reported to about 80m, but more shallow off the coast of Oman. Not often encountered by divers, usually seen solitary and occasionally in pairs. Closely related to Chaetodon gardineri and C.selene. Length to 18cm. 

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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