One of the most ubiquitous fish species in the waters of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, the butterflyfish is a striking member of the Chaetodontidae family, a name that has Greek roots referring to the brush-like teeth in their tiny mouths. Of course, their common English name comes from their resemblance to the wings of a butterfly, often featuring an eye spot. Butterflyfish can sometimes be mistaken for angelfish, but one characteristic will help discern its identity: the tail fins of the butterflyfish will never be pronged. Because most species feed on coral polyps and sea anemones, butterflyfish are a common sight in healthy coral reefs. Here are just a few of the approximately 120 species of butterflyfish.
Diagonal (Yellow) and Threadfin (White)