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Butterfly Fish Facts

Butterflyfish Species - The butterfly fish exists near shallow craggy coral reefs where they search for food and seek protection from their predators, such as the moray eel, large barracuda fishes, and most of the pelagic shark species.

There are 114 recognized butterfly fish species which range from the very smallest around three inches long, up to the largest which may in fact reach 20 centimeters in length.

The fact that marine butterfly fish are broadly found in tropical and subtropical oceans means they thrive very well around the shallow reefs of the Indian Ocean.

Even though they can live a solitary life quite happily, there are some butterfly fish species which school together in small clusters. Once they find a partner they usually become mates for life.

They are appropriately named butterfly fish because of their bright intricate patterns and striped or spotty coloration. In fact, even though there are several species of butterfly fishes which are dull-colored, most have a conspicuous body which displays striking background colors of yellow, blue, orange, and red.

Schools of butterfly fishes are characterized by their thin disk-shaped flattened body with an exaggerated and elongated snout. The dazzling fishes use their long narrow snouts to peck at rock and coral formations searching for small worms, coral polyps, and most small invertebrates. In many ways they closely resemble the angelfish species which are their distant cousins in fact.

What Eats Butterfly Fish?

Predatory Facts about Butterfly Fish: The majority of the butterfly fishes species is on the endangered species list even though the average lifespan for the genus is around seven years.

Despite having several body markings used to confuse their predators, such as dark eye bands and circular eye-like dots on their flanks, the fishes which eat butterfly fish the most certainly include adult morays, most sharks and many other big predators.

Note: The biggest threat to the butterfly fish survival comes from oceanic pollution and global climate change.

Interesting Facts about Butterfly FishInteresting Facts about Butterfly Fish

Pinterest iconButterfly Fish Pictures

Copperband Butterfly Fish Yellow Butterfly Fishes

Pictures of Butterfly Fish: The Copperband Butterfly Fish and Yellow Butterfly Fishes are not commonly seen in the Gulf of Siam but our Thailand fish families section has information about other marine life found in the shallow waters around the coral islands.

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