Muller's Coralfish, Chelmon muelleri Klunzinger 1879

Other Names: Beaked Coralfish, Black-fin Coralfish, Black-fin Coral-fish, Highfin Coralfish, Müller's Coralfish

Muller's Coralfish, Chelmon muelleri, on an inshore fringing reefs at Mackay, Queensland, November 2006. Source: Tony Ayling / License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

A long-snouted butterflyfish with a pattern of broad brown bars and a large black ocellus on the base of the second dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chelmon muelleri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Feb 2021,

Muller's Coralfish, Chelmon muelleri Klunzinger 1879

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Endemic to northern Australia from the Kimberly Archipelago, Western Australia, to the southern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, in depths of 1-20 m.

Inhabits shallow rocky and silty/muddy reefs, often with extensive algal cover; also found in estuaries.


Carnivore - feeds on benthic invertebrates including crabs and polychaete worms.


The species is named in honour of botanist Ferdinand von Mueller, who donated his natural history specimens, including the future type of this species, to what is now the Museum für Naturkunde, Stuttgart, Germany.

Species Citation

Chelmo muelleri Klunzinger, 1879, Anzeiger der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 16(22): 255. Type locality: Port Denison, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Catalog of Fishes

Muller's Coralfish, Chelmon muelleri Klunzinger 1879


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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. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth, Australia: Universitiy of Hawai'i Press, Volumes I-III. Tropical Reef Research.

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

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

Klunzinger, C.B. 1879. Die v. Müller'sche Sammlung Australischer Fische. Anzeiger der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, Wien 16(22): 254-261.

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.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 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 muelleri. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 05 March 2014.

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.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. 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:37365015

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-10 m

Depth:Silty coastal reefs

Max Size:20 cm TL


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map