Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Found in coral rich areas; juveniles confined to single coral heads (Ref. 9710). Territorial and usually in pairs. Mainly diurnal. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).
  • Allen, G.R. 1985 Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Vol. 2. 3rd edit. in English. Mergus Publishers, Melle, Germany. (Ref. 4858)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, east to the Arabian Sea coast of Oman (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It is found to a depth of around 20 m.
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Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
  • Randall, J.E. 1995 Coastal fishes of Oman. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 439 p. (Ref. 11441)
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Gulf of Aden (northwestern Indian Ocean) and Red Sea.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20 - 21; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 19; Vertebrae: 24
  • Burgess, W.E. 1978 Butterflyfishes of the world. A monograph of the Family Chaetodontidae. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. (Ref. 4855)
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Size

Maximum size: 130 mm SL
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Max. size

13.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. ))
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Diagnostic Description

Description

This territorial species usually swims in pairs. It is mainly diurnal.
  • Anon. (1996). FishBase 96 [CD-ROM]. ICLARM: Los Baños, Philippines. 1 cd-rom pp.
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Axillary scale present. Color: Presence of band around head connected at the nape and throat. Mouth and chin area black while interorbital area with varying patterns of lines, dots and triangles.
  • Burgess, W.E. 1978 Butterflyfishes of the world. A monograph of the Family Chaetodontidae. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. (Ref. 4855)
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in lagoonal and fringing coral-rich reefs with clear water (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). Solitary individuals or pairs are most often encountered, with small shoals less frequent. It is an obligate corallivore, but gastropod eggs and anemones are also consumed. Juveniles inhabit a single coral head until they reach maturity (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 1 - 15 m (Ref. 9710)
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
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Depth range based on 2 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1 sample.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 3 - 5
  Temperature range (°C): 23.105 - 23.105
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.071 - 0.071
  Salinity (PPS): 37.251 - 37.251
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.032 - 5.032
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.060 - 0.060
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.936 - 0.936

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 3 - 5
 
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Depth: 1 - 15m.
From 1 to 15 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Exquisite butterflyfish. Found in coral rich areas; juveniles confined to single coral heads (Ref. 9710). Territorial and usually in pairs. Mainly diurnal.
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Trophic Strategy

Rarely solitary.
  • Allen, G.R. 1985 Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Vol. 2. 3rd edit. in English. Mergus Publishers, Melle, Germany. (Ref. 4858)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Form pairs during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Rocha, L.A., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M.

Reviewer/s
Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification

While there have been no declines documented, this species is dependent on live coral cover, which may make it susceptible to habitat loss. However, it has a relatively wide distribution, apparently large population and no obvious major threats other than coral loss. It is listed as Least Concern.

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Population

Population

It is generally common throughout the Red Sea, particularly in the Gulf of Aqaba and farther to the south off Jeddah and Port Sudan; populations are stable (Allen 1980, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).


Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats

This species relies on live coral for food and/or recruitment, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Currently there has been no documented declines associated with coral loss, and there appear to be no other major threats to this species.

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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions

There appear to be no species-specific conservation measures in place. This species is present within marine protected areas. Monitoring of this species is needed in conjunction with coral monitoring, as well as determination of the degree of co-dependence between this species and corals.

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
  • Robins, C.R., R.M. Bailey, C.E. Bond, J.R. Brooker, E.A. Lachner, R.N. Lea and W.B. Scott 1991 World fishes important to North Americans. Exclusive of species from the continental waters of the United States and Canada. Am. Fish. Soc. Spec. Publ. (21):243 p. (Ref. 4537)
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Wikipedia

Blacktail butterflyfish

The Black-tailed Butterflyfish (or blacktail butterflyfish), also called Exquisite Butterflyfish, is known as Chaetodon austriacus by its scientific name. This species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae) is found in the Red Sea and around southern Oman only.[1] Supposedly, a Black-tailed Butterflyfish was sighted in El Nido, Palawan (Philippines) by Dr. Gerry Allen during a fish identification project in July 2007.[2]

The Black-tailed Butterflyfish is up to 14 cm long and is orange with thin, curved black stripes. Its anal fin and tail are black. The body of juveniles is whiter above with white bands on the tail. The Melon butterflyfish (C. trifasciatus) and the Oval butterflyfish (C. lunulatus) are similar in coloration but have less black on the caudal and anal fins.[3]

Together with the Melon and Oval butterflyfishes and probably also the somewhat aberrant Arabian butterflyfish (C. melapterus) it makes up the subgenus Corallochaetodon. They are probably quite close to the subgenus called Citharoedus (that name is a junior homonym of a mollusc genus), which contains for example the Scrawled butterflyfish (C. meyeri). Like that group, they might be separated in Megaprotodon if the genus Chaetodon is split up.[4]

Black-tailed butterflyfishes tend to be found in coral-rich areas between 0.5 and 20 m deep, on seaward reefs or in lagoons or bays. Adults are generally found in pairs patrolling a territory or range while juveniles are found among coral branches. This species grazes on coral polyps and sea anemone tentacles.[3]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Lieske & Myers (2004), FishBase (2008)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b Lieske & Myers (2004)
  4. ^ Fessler & Westneat (2007), Hsu et al. (2007)

References

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