Pacific Redfin Butterflyfish

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Chaetodon lunulatus - Quoy & Gaimard, 1825
Pacific Redfin Butterflyfish

A fish that won't eat in the aquarium and is best viewed in its wild settings. Scott W. Michael


Yet another of the obligate corallivore butterflyfishes, this appealing species is almost guaranteed to refuse to eat in captivity. Even if it does pick at some food offerings, it will usually begin a sure terminal decline. Choose one of the hardy, easy-to-keep butterflies instead.

Family: Chaetodontidae

Other common name(s):

  • Oval Butterflyfish

Native range:

Habitat: Reef areas with dense cover of Acropora spp. stony corals.

Maximum length: 14 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 284 L (75 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Midwater to bottom.


Needs live coral polyps for its constant grazing activities.


In the wild, usually seen as monogamous pairs that cruise a well-defined home territory.


In the Indian Ocean, a very similar species is found: Chaetodon trifasciatis, the Melon Butterflyfish.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM