By Bob Goemans
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Chaetodon flavocoronatus

Myers, 1860

Yellow-crowned Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Pacific Ocean: Endemic to the Marianas Islands (Guam, Tinian, Saipan, and Maug).

Size: 5 inches (12 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits coastal fore-reef drop-offs rich in black coral and gorgonian growths at depths between 120 to 300 feet (35 – 90 m) and mainly feeds on zooplankton, tubeworms, and other benthic invertebrates.

General Husbandry: Quite pretty, yet rarely collect and when available usually expensive due to its limited areas of collection and depth collected. Has a diangonally divided body, with the frontal lower half silvery white, and the upper rear jet black. There’s also a yellow eye band, and another over the crown of the head.

Is said to be very hardy and adapts readily to aquarium life when its housed in larger peaceful fish-only aquariums, especially those with lots of open swimming space, and live rock hiding places. It also said to be quite easy to feed in captivity and a meaty diet of live fortified brine shrimp, black worms (Lumbriculus variegatus), and/or various frozen meaty foods such as mysis, which should be offered several times daily.

Should there be a problem getting this species to feed, small human consumption clams/black mussels purchased in local grocery stores and placed on the half-shell in the aquarium may help entice it to begin feeding. Over time, frozen foods like mysis and brine shrimp may be more readily accepted.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Chaetodontidae

    Genus: Chaetodon

FYI: Juveniles acclimate more easily to aquarium life than do adults.

Preferably maintained without others in the same genus.

Pressing some soft foods into openings/crevices on a piece of old dead coral skeleton can sometimes encourage finicky eaters to begin feeding.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: No

Invertebrate Safe: No

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful or non-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 – 28°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon flavocoronatus (Yellow-crowned Butterflyfish)
Photo © John Randall
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