| Ecological Descriptors
||Wor, Cor, Cru
|I/ Pr (Sh)
Adult: Body thin and round in profile. Forehead slightly concave, the eye concealed by a dark bar on the head. Body silver to white, with two wide, black midbody bands and in third bar basally in the soft portion of the rear dorsal that extends in the tail base
Juveniles: Juveniles with a black spot ringed in white on the rear dorsal fin. Fins not yellow.
Inhabit coral reefs, from 2 to 55 m. They defend territories in pairs and move with mutual partner guarding.
It is a benthic foraging predator and can be a carnivore or omnivore. It feeds mainly on tube worms, sea anemones, crustaceans, mollusc eggs and corals and may feed on parasites found on other fish. It also feeds on plankton in the water column, in schools of up to 20 individuals. It hunts visually and uses its bristle-teeth to gain better access to prey. Approximately 11 1/2 hours daily are spent in feeding activity, from just after sunrise to just before nightfall. When foraging in a pair this activity lasts longer than when foraging occurs individually.
Mating is monogamous in this species and courtship can be long and energetic, it involves the pair circling each other until one breaks away and chasing one another. Spawning activity occurs at dusk and can be year round for some, whilst in others spawning begins in winter and early spring for those that live in tropical waters and midsummer for those in temperate regions. The male goes behind and underneath the female and uses his snout to nudge the female’s abdomen. They release a white column of 3,000-4,000 small pelagic eggs, which hatch in a day to tholichthys larvae. These are transparent and have a bony armour sheath on the head, with bony plates extending backwards from this. After reaching the size of a small coin they settle to the bottom at night, and become juveniles. No parental care is given though juveniles may be seen with the adult pairs .
Banded Butterflyfish Adult
Banded Butterflyfish Juvenile
(C) Jim Chambers