Chaetodon melannotus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Chaetodon melannotus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Scientific Name: Chaetodon melannotus

English Name: Blackback butterflyfish

Creole Name: Papiyon

French Name: Papillon à dos noir

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 12-13; Dorsal rays: 18-21; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 16-18.

A small, full-bodied (nearly round) fish with prominent snout and terminal mouth. 

Colour. A whitish butterflyfish, black dorsally and encircled in yellow. Many diagonal black lines on the side. Black eye bar with yellow margins, originating at 
anterior dorsal fin, descending through the eye down to the “throat”.  Snout and mouth yellow. Base of pectoral fin yellow with transparent rays and membranes. 
Median and pelvic fins yellow. Black saddle on peduncle and distal caudal fin transparent. 


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 18cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits coral-rich areas of lagoons, seaward reefs, and reef flats (depth 2-20m). Usually solitary or in pairs. Noted on occasion to form mass aggregations possibly to 
spawn, but typically forms pairs during breeding. An obligate corallivore - feeds on polyps of hard and soft corals. Juveniles recruit to shallow coral reef habitats 
with rich coral growth, settling among branching Montipora.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery and also in nets, but is an uncommon component of the landed catch, 
as it is typically released by fishers when caught. 






Bray, D.J. & Thompson, A.S.  Chaetodon melannotus in Fishes of Australia, (19/09/19).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2019). Fishbase. (19/06/19).
Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. (2010). Chaetodon melannotus. The IUCN Red List 2010: e.T165689A6092221. (19/06/19).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Chaetodon melannotus, Blackback butterflyfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 23/06/22).

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