Indian Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mitratus Günther 1860

An Indian Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mitratus, in the Steinhardt Aquarium. Source: Ross D. Robertson / Shorefishes of the Neotropics. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A yellow butterflyfish with a two broad black diagonal bands across the side, and an orange to black bar through the eye.
The Indian Butterflyfish occurs at Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Eastern Indian Ocean, (AUS EEZ).

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2015, Chaetodon mitratus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 04 Mar 2024,

Indian Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mitratus Günther 1860

More Info


Widespread in the Indian Ocean, including the Australian territories of Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island. 
Inhabits steep outer reef slopes and drop-offs with rich coral growth, usually below 50 m.


Feeds on benthic invertebrates and zooplankton.


The specific name mitratus is from Latin (wearing a headband) presumably in reference to the bar through the eye.

Species Citation

Chaetodon mitratus Günther, 1860, Cat. Fish. Brit. Mus. 2: 16. Type locality: Mauritius


Bray, D.J. 2015

Indian Butterflyfish, Chaetodon mitratus Günther 1860


Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons Vol. 2 pp. 149-352 figs 214-510.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & Allen, M. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Burgess, W.E. 1978. Butterflyfishes of the World. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications Inc. 832 pp. figs.

Günther, A. 1860. Catalogue of the Fishes in the British Museum. Catalogue of the acanthopterygian fishes in the collection of the British Museum. Squamipinnes, Cirrhitidae, Triglidae, Trachinidae, Sciaenidae, Polynemidae, Sphyraenidae, Trichiuridae, Scombridae, Carangidae, Xiphiidae. London : British Museum Vol. 2 548 pp.

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202.

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219.

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., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Chaetodon mitratus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 16 August 2015.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365093

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:22-80 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map