Lined Butterflyfish
Lined Butterflyfish

Lined Butterflyfish

Chaetodon lineolatus

Lined Butterflyfish

Chaetodon lineolatus is known under several different names in English, including Lined Butterflyfish, Lined Butterfly, and New-moon Coralfish.

Chaetodon lineolatus has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Geographical range, habitat and habits

The Lined Butterflyfish is found in the Indo-Pacific. Its geographical range stretches from East Africa and the Red Sea to Hawaii and the Marquesan and Ducie islands. The northernmost border is located south of Japan and range proceeds southwards down to the Great Barrier Reef and Lord Howe Island, Australia, including Micronesa.

The Lined Butterflyfish inhabits lagoons and seawards reefs. It can be found comparatively far down in the ocean; its depth range is 2-171 meters / 6.6-561 feet.

Size and appearance

The largest scientifically measured Lined Butterflyfish was 30.0 cm / 11.8 in. This makes the Lined Butterfly the largest member of the genus Chaetodon.

The body is white with black elliptical markings. Black elliptical markings are present along the edge of the posterior portion of the back, and they proceed across the caudal peduncle all the way to the base of the posterior anal fin rays. The body is also decorated with a series of thin vertical black lines across the sides, and there is a vertical black band across the eye.

Lined Butterflyfish care

The Lined Butterflyfish is one of the more sensitive Butterflyfishes and is only recommended for advanced marine aquarists. The Lined Butterflyfish is not reef compatible since it feeds on coral polyps, anemones and small invertebrates.

The water temperature should be kept in the 72-78º F / 22-25.5º C range when keeping Lined Butterflyfish. The specific gravity should be 1.020-1.025 and the pH-value 8.1-8.4. It is extremely important to keep the amounts of organic waste down in the aquarium, because even a low degree of ammonia in the water can burn the delicate fins. It can also be tricky to get your Lined Butterflyfish to eat when newly introduced to the aquarium. (You can find feeding advice below.)

Feeding Lined Butterflyfish

In the wild, the Lined Butterflyfish feeds mainly on anemones and coral polyps, but it is also fond of small invertebrates and algae. This is important to remembers, because many specimens have died in the hands of aquarists unable or unwilling to fulfill their dietary requirements. Ideally provide your fish with anemones and coral polyps and then gradually introduce more and more mobile invertebrates in its diet, such as small shrimps. Encourage natural algae growth in the aquarium. It can be hard to make this fish accept algae-based foods, e.g. algae flakes. Juveniles tend to be more interested in trying new food than adults.  

Breeding Lined Butterflyfish

The Lined Butterflyfish is an egg-laying species. It will form pairs during breeding.

Butterflyfish Articles:

Copperbanded Butterflyfish – Chelmon rostratus
Golden Butterflyfish – Chaetodon semilarvatus
Klien's Butterflyfish – Chaetodon kleinii
Longfin Bannerfish – Heniochus acuminatus
Raccoon Butterflyfish – Chaetodon lunula
Saddleback Butterflyfish – Chaetodon falcula
Schooling Bannerfish – Heniochus diphreutes
Threadfin Butterflyfish – Chaetodon auriga
Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish – Forcipiger flavissimus


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