fishes text index | photo index
Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Chaetodontidae
Eightband butterflyfish
Chaetodon octofasciatus

Family Chaetodontidae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This disc-shaped fish with eight bars is sometimes seen on some of our Southern shores among live corals.

Features: To about 12cm. Body flat, circular disk-shaped, snout slightly pointed. 8 black bands, sometimes a broad black horizontal bar between the middle narrow bars, sometimes yellowish or brownish between 2 pair of bands nearer the tail. Yellow pectoral fins, yellowish base of fins, belly and mouth. White-ringed black spot at the base of the tail. Juveniles often seen in groups among branching corals such as Acropora corals. Adults seen in pairs.

Sisters Island, Dec 10

Tanah Merah, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Tanah Merah, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.
What does it eat? According to FishBase, it eats only coral polyps. But the IUCN Red List says there are currently no data on its diet, but it is strongly coral dependent.

Status and threats:
Unfortunately these beautiful fishes are popular in the live aquarium trade although they are considered difficult to keep and feed. It is said it often starves to death when in captivity.

Eightband butterflyfishes on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Jun 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast (PCN), Aug 22
Photo shared by Che Cheng Neo on facebook.

Kusu Island, Sep 23
Photo shared by Tommy Arden on facebook.

Beting Bemban Besar, Jun 15
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Raffles Lighthouse, Nov 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Raffles Lighthouse, Jan 22
Photo shared by Dayna Cheah on facebook.

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her flickr.



  • 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.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008