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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Chaetodontidae
Kite butterflyfish
Parachaetodon ocellatus

Family Chaetodontidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This kite-shaped fish with stripes and a spot on the base of the tail is sometimes seen on our Northern our shores. Among seagrasses or coral rubble. Usually alone but sometimes in a group. Elsewhere, it is found in coastal and inner reef habitats, often in sandy or silty flat-bottom areas littered with sponge growth, sometimes found among seagrass.

Features: To about 18cm, those seen at low tide usually about 4-8cm. Body flat, circular disk-shaped, snout is blunt. 4 bands which are black, brown or brown-edged yellowish (5 bands as juveniles and 4 as adults). White-edged black bar at the base of the tail, with a smudged dark eye spot on the dorsal fin. Upper parts of the dorsal fin and body yellowish. Adults have a more pointed dorsal fin. It is also sometimes called the Ocellate coralfish.

Kusu Island, Aug 08

Chek Jawa, Jul 05

Juvenile seen among seagrasses.
Cyrene Reef, Jul 08
Skirting with death? Sometimes, small groups of small Kite butterflyfishes (about 3-4cm) are seen very near, but not touching, Haddon's carpet anemones. Sometimes also hiding under the sea anemone. One was also seen near a cerianthid.

Seen near a cerianthid.
Changi, Jun 02

Sometimes seen near carpet anemones.
Chek Jawa, Jul 05

Sometimes seen near carpet anemones.
Chek Jawa, Dec 19
Photo shared by Juria Toramae on facebook.
Baby kites: The fishes form pairs during breeding season. Elsewhere, juveniles sometimes seen in large lagoons with seagrasses. Adults school in large numbers over open muddy bottoms in deep water.

What does it eat? It eats small bottom-dwelling creatures and possibly sponges. It is also reported to be omnivorous.

Human uses: Unfortunately these beautiful fishes are popular in the live aquarium trade although they are considered difficult to keep and feed.

Kite butterflyfishes on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Pasir Ris Park, Sep 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Swimming near carpet anemone.
Pasir Ris Park, Sep 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


Changi, Oct 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Changi, Oct 20
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.


Coney Island, Jun 20
Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook.

Punggol, Jun 12
Photo shared by Heng Pei Yan on her blog.

Punggol, Oct 15
Photo shared by Law Ing Sind on facebook.


East Coast-Marine Bay, Oct 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

East Coast-Marina Bay, Nov 17
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


Labrador, Sep 09
Photo shared by Neo Mei Lin on her blog.

Labrador, Oct 17
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Berlayar Creek, Apr 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.


St. John's Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
   


Pulau Hantu, Jul 07
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Terumbu Hantu, Jun 20
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.

Terumbu Raya, Jul 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Links

References

  • Jianlin Liu & Ria Tan. Kite butterflyfish and carpet anemones. 30 November 2017. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2017: 165-166 ISSN 2345-7597. National University of Singapore.
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
  • Kuiter, Rudie H. 2002. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers & Fishermen New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
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