Doublesaddle Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ulietensis Cuvier 1831

Other Names: Double-saddle Butterflyfish, Double-saddled Butterflyfish, Pacific Double Saddleback Butterflyfish, Pacific Doublesaddle Butterflyfish, Pacific Double-saddle Butterflyfish

A Doublesaddle Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ulietensis, in Northern Fiji. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A white butterflyfish with yellow dorsal, caudal and anal fins, two broad diffuse dark grey to blackish bars on the upper side, a black bar through the eye, a large black spot on the caudal-fin base, and narrow vertical lines on the side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chaetodon ulietensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 27 May 2024,

Doublesaddle Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ulietensis Cuvier 1831

More Info


North West Cape to the Dampier Archipelago, and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Sydney, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific: Andaman Sea east to Wake Atoll, Marshall Islands and Ducie (Pitcairn Group), north to southern Japan, south to  New Caledonia and Tonga.
Individuals, pairs or groups inhabit coral-rich areas in lagoon and seaward reefs at depths to 30 m. Juveniles may also occur in harbors and estuaries. 


Dorsal fin XII, 23-24; Anal fin III, 19-21; Pectoral fin 14-15; Lateral-line scales 32-37.Body depth 1.5-1.8 in SL; snout relatively long, 2.2-2.5 in head.

Similar Species

The similar Blackwedged Butterflyfish, Chaetodon falcula, which occurs in the Indian Ocean, differs in having two black wedge-shaped saddles on the back, and a black band around the caudal-fin base. Both species are found at the Australian Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean.


The species is named ulietensis for the type locality, Uliétéa Island (= Raiatea), French Polynesia.

Species Citation

Chaetodon ulietensis Cuvier, 1831, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 7: 39. Type locality: Uliétéa Island, French Polynesia (= Raiatea, Society Islands).


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Doublesaddle Butterflyfish, Chaetodon ulietensis Cuvier 1831


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365060

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-30 m

Habitat:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map