Chaetodontidae - butterflyfishes

Butterflyfishes are laterally compressed, round (or oblong) subtropical and tropical fishes with prominent pointed snouts and brightly colored bodies with elaborate markings. They prefer to hang around hard structures, such as coral reefs, pilings, jetties, etc. Their diet consists of small invertebrates, coral polyps, algae and zooplankton. Although similar to angelfishes, butterflyfishes lack the prominent spine on the angle of the preopercle (bony plate on the gill cover) that is present in all angelfishes. Butterflyfishes are monogamous and mate with only one partner for life. Their fry (baby fishes) develop large bony plates on their heads, probably for protection, which disappear as the fishes mature.

Butterflyfishes are highly sought after marine aquarium fishes because of their beautiful colors. They do well in "fish only" aquariums, but in reef tanks, they will probably kill your coral.