| Ecological Descriptors
Adult: Head and body bright white, with a black bar from nape to chest through eye; tail base and all fins yellow. Black spot at top rear corner of dorsal fin. Faint lines nay be present on edges of caudal (tail), anal and rear dorsal fins.
Juveniles: Similar to adult but with the addition of a black spot and black bar from dorsal to base of soft anal fin
Inhabits coral reefs with clear water from 1-30m (3-100ft), whilst juveniles are more commonly found in seagrass beds. Although their primary preference is coral reef and sandy bottoms, spotfins are also seen around and between any rock formations. They swim and feed over bare, sandy bottoms which is slightly different from other butterflyfish that usually feed in the shallow reef areas as well.
These butterflyfish rarely stray far from their sheltering reef and their narrow bodies allow them to fit easily into cracks and holes in the rock or coral, whilst the long snout allows foraging in reef crevaces and posesses bristle-like teeth. The snout lengthens with maturity.
Generalist carnivores diurnally feeding on sea anemones, hydroids, small crustaceans and tube worms. During their feeding time, they pay little to no attention to their sheltering reef (territory) and may swim a distance of 7-12m away
Develops dusky bands at night.
Pair off as youngsters at 5-7cm and the two remain inseparable for the rest of their lives., ~ 7-10 years. Spawning occurs at dusk, chasing
each other during courtship, doing headstands and lateral displays. They circle until one of them discontinues and swims away, while the other follows. Spawning occurs all year peaking in the early summer.
Spotfin Butterflyfish Juvenile