Dot-and-dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis Kner 1868

Other Names: Dot and dash Butterflyfish, Dot-and-dash Butterfly-fish, Dot-and-dash Coralfish, Sunset Butterflyfish

A Dot-and-dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis, at Erscotts Hole, Lord Howe island. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef Life Survey. License: CC By Attribution

A yellowish to tannish-yellow butterflyfish with diagonal rows of dark bands that break up into spots anteriorly and on the lower sides, a black spot on top of the head, and an orange bar through the eye.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Chaetodon pelewensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 Feb 2021,

Dot-and-dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis Kner 1868

More Info


Scott Reef, Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Sydney, New South Wales, including reefs in the Coral Sea, also the Lord Howe Island Province, Tasman Sea. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, south-west-central Pacific. Usually seen in pairs on outer reefs.


Dorsal fin XIII-IV, 22-25; Anal fin III, 17-18; Pectoral fin 14-15; Lateral-line scales 39-47.


Feed mostly on coral polyps and small benthic invertebrates.


Hybridises with the Spotbanded Butterflyfish, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus


The species is named for the Pellew Islands (Palau).

Species Citation

Chaetodon pelewensis Kner, 1868, Sitzungsb. Akad. Wissensch. Wein 58(3-4): 306. Type locality: Palau (as Pellew Islands).


Dianne J. Bray

Dot-and-dash Butterflyfish, Chaetodon pelewensis Kner 1868


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365049

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:8-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max weight:12.5 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map