The Brown-and-white butterflyfish or black pyramid butterflyfish (Hemitaurichthys zoster) is a small-sized fish that can reach a maximum length of 18 cm. Its body is compressed laterally with a rounded body profile. The snout is somewhat stretched with a small terminal protractile mouth.
Distinctive Characters - Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 24-26 rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 20-21 rays. Pectoral fin with 17 rays. Body depth 1.5 in standard length. Colour - Dark brown with broad white area in middle of the body. Dorsal spines over white area are yellow. Caudal fin mostly white.
Brown-and-white butterflyfish's Feeding
Black pyramid butterflyfish feeds on zooplankton and algae.
Brown-and-white butterflyfish habitat
This species is typically encountered on outer reef slopes exposed to currents. It is a planktivorous species which forms large aggregations numbering up to several hundred individuals (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). This species retreats to coral reef habitats when threatened.
There is concern that global plankton productivity is going to decline with climate change, but it is currently unknown to what extent that climate change will alter availability of planktonic foods adjacent to coral reef habitats. There appear to be no other major threats to this species.