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
Features: To about 18cm, those
seen at low tide usually about 4-8cm. Four brown, broad bands across
the body (5 bands as juveniles and 4 as adults). The snout is blunt.
There is a black eye spot at the base of the tail fin with a less
distinct 'false eye' on the dorsal fin. Adults have a more pointed
dorsal fin. It is also sometimes called the Ocellate coralfish.
Sometimes, small groups of small Kite butterflyfishes (about 3-4cm)
are seen near, but not touching, Haddon's
carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni). The fishes form
pairs during breeding season.
does it eat? It
eats coral polyps and small animals. 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.
Status and threats: It
is seldom traded in the aquarium trade. Like other creatures of the
intertidal zone, it is affected by human activities such as reclamation
and pollution. Over-collection can also have an impact on local populations.
Pulau Sekudu, Jul 04
butterflyfishes on Singapore shores