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Dot-and-dash butterflyfish

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Dot-and-dash butterflyfish
Great barrier reef.jpg
Scientific Classification
Binomial Name

Chaetodon pelewensis

Dot-and-Dash Butterflyfish (Chaetodon pelewensis) are one of the many different species of Butterflyfish. They are also known as the Sunset Butterflyfish.

They are brilliantly colored and can be found in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific and are perhaps best known as inhabitants of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. These beautiful butterfly fish can be found in rocky patches and reef areas at depths between 3 and 98 feet.[1]

Anatomy

The adult Dot-and-dash butterflyfish fish has a very unique color scheme and pattern. The top two-thirds of the body is a brownish yellow color. In the ventral part of the body, it fades into a white color. Along most of its body, there are dark brown lines that run diagonally across body and turn into a dotted line on the anterior part of the body. On the back end of the fish, on the caudal peduncle[2] (area between the end of the anal fin and the bottom of the caudal fin[3]) there is an orange area. On the nape[4], (area between the head and the dorsal fin,[5]) there is a black dot. Around the eyes there is a yellow strip that is outlined in black. Most of the fins are yellow-brown but have some differences in their pattern. The back fin, or the dorsal fin, has a yellow strip across the top. The anal fin has a white strip across the top. Both the anal and dorsal fin strips have a thin black line along the side closest to the body. The caudal fin (the tail [6]) has a black line running through the middle of it. The pelvic fins are the only ones that are a different color; which are white. These Butterfly fish grow to a maximum of 5 inches.[7]

Reproduction/Breeding

This type of butterfly fish has not yet been bred in captivity. They have not been able to reproduce once they have been taken from the ocean and put into an aquarium. It has been reported that larvae have been taken from the ocean and can be bred that way. A problem with this that these fish haven't been able to adapt to life in captivity.[8]

Ecology

These beautiful fish can be found in the Southern part of the Pacific Ocean. It can be found in Lord Howe Island, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Island, Cook Islands, Tonga, Palau, Societies, Marguesas, Tuamotu Archipelago, and the Great Barrier Reef. Their scientific name, pelewensis, was derived from Palau where they were first studied. The first person to describe The Dot-and-Dash Butterfly fish was Kner in 1868. Because the Dot-and-Dash Butterfly fish has a small mouth, it has to eat small food. They are omnivores, which means, they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists of both hard and soft coral polyps. They also enjoy algae, polychaete worm tentacles, and peanut worms.[9]

Pets

These butterfly fish are not easy to take care of and take a lot of attention. The hardest part of taking care of a Dot-and-Dash Butterfly Fish is maintaining their diet. At first they can handle food substitutions. Later they become more difficult to take care of. They must get the right amount of protein and require algae and live food. Because they like to eat soft and hard polyp coral, it is suggested that they are not kept in a reef like an aquarium. It is also very easy for them to get an infectious disease. They can be taken care of with copper drugs. The only problem with this is that these fish do not like sudden change and may become stressed.[10]

References