Highfin Coralfish, Coradion altivelis McCulloch 1916

Other Names: High-fin Butterflyfish, High-fin Coral Fish, High-fin Coralfish, High-fin Coral-fish, High-finned Coralfish

A Highfin Coralfish, Coradion altivelis, at The Mooring, Wheeler Reef, Great Barrier Reef. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A whitish butterflyfish with four brown to dark golden bands, the first through eye and the last band at rear of the body is broad and diffuse, a black bar encircling the caudal peduncle, and a tall triangular-shaped dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Coradion altivelis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/2409

Highfin Coralfish, Coradion altivelis McCulloch 1916

More Info


Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of Western Australia, to the Gulf of Carpentaria and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to northern New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.
Occurs in a range of coastal habitats including outer reef slopes and drop-offs with live coral, along with relatively shallow silty areas.


Omnivore - may feed mostly on sponges.


The specific name altivelis is from the Latin altus (= high) and velum (= sail), presumably in reference to the tall soft dorsal and anal fins of this species. 

Species Citation

Coradion altivelis McCulloch 1916, Biological Results ... F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 4(4): 191. Type locality: Wide Bay, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Highfin Coralfish, Coradion altivelis McCulloch 1916


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. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

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

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

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

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

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

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270 

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

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. 

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 304-622.

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

Matsunuma, M., Matsumoto, T., Motomura, H., Seah, Y.G. & Jaafar, T.N.A.M. 2023. Coradion calendula, a new butterflyfish from Australia (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae). Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 40: 1-28. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.7504828

McCulloch, A.R. 1916. Report on some fishes obtained by the F.I.S. Endeavour on the coasts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South and South-Western Australia. Part 4. Biological Results of the Fishing Experiments carried on by the F.I.S. Endeavour 1909-1914 4(4): 169-199 figs 1-2 pls 49-58 

Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Coradion altivelis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165697A6094841. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T165697A6094841.en. Downloaded on 16 June 2018.

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. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1984. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls. 

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:37365018

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (uncommon)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map