Blackback Butterflyfish, Chaetodon melannotus Bloch & Schneider 1801


Other Names: Black-back Butterflyfish, Black-back Butterfly-fish, Blackbacked Butterflyfish, Black-backed Butterflyfish, Black-backed Butterfly-fish, Black-backed Coralfish

A Blackback Butterflyfish, Chaetodon melannotus, on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: fugm10 / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:
A whitish butterflyfish encircled in yellow, with many diagonal black lines on the side, black along the upper back, a black eye bar, a black saddle on the caudal peduncle, and yellow fins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Audrey S. Thompson, Chaetodon melannotus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2386

Blackback Butterflyfish, Chaetodon melannotus Bloch & Schneider 1801

More Info


Distribution

Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Torres Strait Islands and northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Wollongong, New South Wales, the Lord Howe Island region in the Tasman Sea, also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits coral-rich areas of lagoons, seaward reefs, and reef flats.

Features

Dorsal fin XII-XIII, 18-21; Anal fin III, 18-21; Pectoral fin 14-15; Lateral-line scales 33-39.

Feeding

An obligate corallivore - feeds on polyps of hard and soft corals.

Biology

Juveniles settle out among branching Montipora corals on shallow reef areas with rich coral growth.

Fisheries

Although frequently collected for the aquarium trade, the species may be difficult to maintain due to its diet of live corals.

Similar Species

Differs from the very similar Spot-tail Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ocellicaudus, in having a black saddle (vs a black spot) on the caudal-fin base, a black upper back, and a black spot or blotch on the anterior anal-fin base.

Species Citation

Chaetodon melannotus Bloch & Schneider, 1801. Syst. Ichthyol.: 224. Type locality: Tranquebar, India.

Author

Dianne J. Bray & Audrey S. Thompson

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Blackback Butterflyfish, Chaetodon melannotus Bloch & Schneider 1801

References


Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons Vol. 2 pp. 149-352 figs 214-510.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls.

Burgess, W.E. 1978. Butterflyfishes of the World. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications Inc. 832 pp. figs.

Fessler, J.L. & Westneat, M.W. 2007. Molecular phylogenetics of the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): Taxonomy and biogeography of a global coral reef fish family. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 45(1): 50–68. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.018  Abstract 

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hsu, K-C., Chen, J-P. & Shao, K-T. 2007. Molecular phylogeny of Chaetodon (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae) in the Indo-West Pacific: evolution in geminate species pairs and species groups. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 14: 77-86. PDF Open Access


Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Butterflyfishes, Bannerfishes and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 208 pp.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon melannotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 16 August 2015.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

Pratchett, M.S. 2005. Dietary overlap among coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology 148: 373-382.

Pratchett, M.S. & Berumen, M.L. 2008. Interspecific variation in ditributions and diets of coral reef butterflyfishes (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae). Journal of Fish Biology 73: 1730-1747.

Pratchett, M.S., Munday, P.L., Wilson, S.K., Graham, N.A.J., Cinner, J.E., Bellwood, D.R., Jones, G.P., Polunin, N.V.C. & McClanahan, T.R. 2008. Effects of climate-induced coral bleaching on coral reef fishes - Ecological and economic consequences. Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 46: 251-296.

Pratchett, M.S., Wilson, S.K. & Baird, A.H. 2006. Declines in the abundance of Chaetodon butterflyfishes following extensive coral depletion. Journal of Fish Biology 69: 1269-1280.
Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae. pp. 3224-3286 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Steene, R.C. 1978. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed Vol. 1 144 pp. 216 figs.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37365043

Danger:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-20 m

Feeding:Feeds on live corals

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map