Beaked Coralfish, Chelmon rostratus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Beaked Coral-fish, Copperbanded Butterflyfish

A Beaked Coralfish, Chelmon rostratus, at Forbes Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, June 2015. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A common butterflyfish with two narrow orange bars on the head and anterior body, a bar down the middle of the body, a broad yellowish or yellowish-orange band on the rear of the body divided by a crescent-shaped white bar, and a false eyespot or ocellus on the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chelmon rostratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 20 Apr 2024,

Beaked Coralfish, Chelmon rostratus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Botany Bay, Sydney, New South Wales. Inhabits reefs in bays, estuaries and along the coast at depths to 25 m.


The specific name is from the Latin rostratus (= beaked), in reference to the long snout of this species.

Species Citation

Chaetodon rostratus Linnaeus 1758, Systema naturae I: 273. Type locality: In Indiis [Indonesia].


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Beaked Coralfish, Chelmon rostratus (Linnaeus 1758)


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

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. 

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Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

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. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundem classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii Tomus I 824 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. Chelmon rostratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165659A6083324. Downloaded on 25 October 2020.

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:37365017

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-25 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map