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Page history last edited by Amanda Shannon 10 years, 9 months ago

The Butterfly Fish

Amanda Shannon 





 The butterfly fish is a tropical marine fish that comes in an amazing array of colors such as back, blue, red, orange, or yellow. They also have intricate patterns with striking backgrounds. The butterfly fish is in the classification of the Chaetodontidae family. There are 114 different species of butterfly fish. The butterfly fish is only about the size of a teacup (20cm). The butterfly fish have disk-shaped bodies except for their tail and their snout which are smaller than the rest of its body. The snout of the butterfly fish is long and coned shaped. This gives the butterfly fish the ability to dig into coral reefs and look for its primary foods such as polyps, worms, and other small invertebrates. The butterfly fish looks almost exactly like its cousin, the Angelfish .






The butterfly fish is found in the coral reefs of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Butterfly fish are very particular about the depth of water that they live in. This species of fish lives in water less than 18m though some types of butterfly fish can descend to 180m! The butterfly fish lives mostly in the center of the patch of coral and rarely strays to far of the edge of its patch of coral reef.



Symbiotic Interactions


The butterfly fish has no known symbiotic relationship. The butterfly fish, however, is most closely related to the angelfish. The angelfish has a symbiotic relationship with other fish that host parasites. The angelfish eats these parasites and, in return, is not attacked of harmed while performing this service. So the bigger fish that host the parasites are unaffected and the angelfish benefits from this symbiosis.



Prey Adaptions


The butterfly fish has a long snout that is perfect for catching its prey. The butterfly fish pushes its long snout through the coral and moves it around looking for its main source of food polyps, worms, and other small invertebrates. The butterfly fish can also move very quickly with great force to push into harder coral where the food is more abundant.



Predator Adaptions


The butterfly fish is a type of fish that stays awake during the day and sleeps during the night. Because of this, the butterfly fish is more vulnerable to nighttime sea creatures. These predators are the snapper, Moray Eel  and sharks (all of these predators never sleep).


The butterfly fish has very interesting ways of protecting itself from these predators. The butterfly fish is so small that it is able to slip into small crevices in the coral to hide itself. Also, at night, when the butterfly fish slips into its dark crevices, their bright colors fade to blend with the reef background.



Species Comparison (Angelfish)



The butterfly fish is most closely related to the marine Angelfish. They are similar in that they both have bright colors and intricate patterns and are among the most beautiful fish found on coral reefs. The two fish are also classified into similar families, Chaetodontidae and Pomacanthidae.



The marine Angelfish is often much larger in size than the butterfly fish. Butterfly fish can be distinguished from Angelfish by the dark spots on their scales, dark bands around their eyes and the fact that the mouth of the butterfly fish is much more pointed than the mouth of the angelfish. Also, the Angelfish has a prominent spine on the lower edge of the gill cover that the butterfly fish does not have. Another thing that distinguishes them is that the Angelfish is usually found alone or in pairs while the butterfly fish is more likely to be found in large schools.





- Butterfly Fish Wikipedia


This page was last modified on 28 April 2013 at 02:22.

- Butterfly Fish National Geographic


This page was last modified on 3 May 2012 at 01:34. 

- (Butterfly Fish) A-Z Animals


This page was last modified on 24 February 2013 at 9:12. 








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