Gunther's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon guentheri Ahl 1923

Other Names: Calf Fish, Gunthers Butterflyfish, Günther's Butterflyfish

A group of Guenther's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon guentheri, at Halifax Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A pale butterflyfish with small dark spots forming irregular lines on a silvery-white background, a black eyebar, and bright yellow dorsal and anal fins with a narrow white margin and a black submarginal band

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Chaetodon guentheri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Gunther's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon guentheri Ahl 1923

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Merimbula, New South Wales, and possibly south Gabo Island, Victoria; also the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, temperate, west Pacific. 
Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, in areas with rich coral growth.


Dorsal fin XIII,21-22; Anal fin III,18.


The species is named in honour of the ichthyologist and herpetologist Albert Günther, who reported this species in error as Chaetodon miliaris.

Species Citation

Chaetodon guentheri Ahl 1923, Archiv für Naturgeschichte A 89(5): 99. Type locality: Manado, Celebes (= Sulawesi).


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Gunther's Butterflyfish, Chaetodon guentheri Ahl 1923


Ahl, E. 1923. Zur Kenntnis der Knochenfischfamilie Chaetodontidae, insbesondere der Unterfamilie Chaetodontinae. Archiv für Naturgeschichte A 89(5): 1-205 pls 1-3 

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. 

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 

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93, 193-228 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp. 

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

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 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. 

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. 

Pyle, R. & Myers, R. 2010. Chaetodon guentheri. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165718A6100810. Accessed on 13 June 2023.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Ed. 2. 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. 

Trnski, T. 2015. 187 Family Chaetodontidae. pp. 1298-1305 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Whitley, G.P. 1957. Ichthyological Illustrations. Proceedings of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 1955–56: 56-71, figs 1-12 (described as Chaetodon vitulus, type locality Jervis Bay, NSW) See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365039

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map