Species Details

Details of blackback butterflyfish will be displayed below

blackback butterfl...   

Common Name: blackback butterflyfish
Also Known As: Black-backed Butterflyfish, Blackback Butterflyfish
Scientific Name: Chaetodon melannotus
Local Name: Kalhali bibee
Dhivehi Name: ކަޅަލިބިބީ
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Chaetodontidae  (Family)
Chaetodon   (Genus)

blackback butterflyfish's description

Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 18-21 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 16-18 rays. Pectoral fin with 14-15 rays. Body depth 1.6-1.8 in standard length. Overall white with bright yellow fins. Numerous yellow oblique black lines on sides. Upper back blackish. A black blotch above anal spines. A yellow edged, black bar through eyes.

blackback butterflyfish's Behavior & Ecology

Usually solitary or in pairs in coral-rich areas of reef flats, lagoons, and seaward reefs to a depth of over 15 m. Juveniles inshore. In pairs or traveling in small groups. Feed on octocorallian and scleractinian coral polyps. Oviparous. Form pairs during breeding. Easy to maintain in the aquarium.

blackback butterflyfish's Feeding

Black-backed butterflyfish feeds on coral polyp

blackback butterflyfish habitat

This species inhabits coral-rich areas of lagoons, seaward reefs, and reef flats. Occurs as individuals or in pairs, but noted to form aggregations, possibly to mass-spawn (Pratchett et al. 2006). It is an obligate corallivore, but feeds on both hard and soft corals (e.g., Pratchett 2005). It recruits to shallow coral reef habitats with rich coral growth, settling among branching Montipora.

blackback butterflyfish threats

Relies on live coral for food and recruitment, and has declined significantly following climate-induced coral depletion on the Great Barrier Reef (Pratchett et al. 2006). However coral bleaching and coral loss has been patchy throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean, and localized declines due to coral loss have not substantially affected the global population. There are no apparent major threats other than coral loss.

blackback butterflyfish's status