By Bob Goemans
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Chaetodon punctatofasciatus

Cuvier, 1831

Spotbanded Butterflyfish, Punctato Butterflyfish

Not Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Christmas Island to Line Islands, north to Southern Japan, and south to the Great Barrier Reef.

Size: 5 inches (12 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow rocky reefs at depths between 3 to 150 feet (1 – 45 m) and feeds on filamentous algae, worm tentacles, soft and stony corals polyps and other benthic invertebrates.

General Husbandry: Quite attractive and hardy, as it has a greyish yellowish body, several half height brownish black body bands, numerous dark body spots, orange eye band edged in black, and yellow dorsal and anal fins. Tail os partly black and white. A small black patch appears on the crown, and the caudal peduncle is orange with some of the orange flowing into the lower aft of the dorsal and upper rear of the anal fin.

Adapts quite easily to aquarium life in larger peaceful fish-only aquariums, especially those with lots of open swimming space and having micro and macroalgae growths. In fact, this species is an excellent browser of filamentous algae, therefore flake foods, and especially those containing Spirulina and/or Nori should be offered, as should a meaty diet of finely chopped foods such as mysis, and overall be offered several times daily.

Its recommended there is only one specimen from this species in the aquarium, unless a mated pair. However, individuals can be maintained with others from this family if introduced at the same time.

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


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Percoidei

    Family: Chaetodontidae

    Genus: Chaetodon

FYI: All supplied meaty foods should be finely chopped, as this species has a small mouth.

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: Omnivore

Coral Safe: No

Invertebrate Safe: No

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful or non-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 81°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 -1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Chaetodon punctatofasciatus (Spotbanded Butterflyfish, Punctato Butterflyfish)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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