Spotfin butterflyfish

Chaetodon ocellatus

Family Chaetodontidae - butterflyfishes

Body deep, nearly round, laterally flattened; color body white, posterior end yellow; all fins except pectoral are yellow; yellow streak on margin of gill flap to base of pectoral fin; dark spot on angle of dorsal fin; dull spot at base of dorsal rays, ranges from dark black to completely disappearing, depending on lighting and background; black bar through eye from head to chin; juveniles with dark vertical bar from the posterior base of the dorsal fin to the base of the anal fin (disappears with age); mouth small pointed, tinge in yellow.
Similar Species
Most similar to the reef butterflyfish, C. sedentarius. This fish has more yellow coloration extending from back to mid-body. It has a thick dark bar from the upper base of the caudal fin (though it may go higher) extending onto the edges of the anal fin. Other butterflyfishes have different colors and patterns.
Gulf, common around reefs and platforms
Maximum Size
15 cm (6 in)
Fin Element Counts
D. XIII,19-20; A. III,16-17 (explain)
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names
Underwater photo courtesy of TPWD Artificial Reef Marine Species.
State size/bag limits