Chaetodon citrinellus

Citron butterflyfish
Chaetodon citrinellus
Chaetodon citrinellus, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Chaetodon citrinellus
Chaetodon citrinellus, Niue, Photo: Graham Edgar
Chaetodon citrinellus
Chaetodon citrinellus, Coral Sea, Australia, Photo: Andrew Green
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Chaetodon citrinellus
Chaetodon citrinellus
Chaetodon citrinellus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Uniform pale yellow or lemon colour with small dark spots, white stripe preceding black margin on anal fin and black vertical band through eye. Chaetodon guentheri (Gunther\'s butterflyfish) has white body grading to yellow, and lacks black outer margin to anal fin.


Max Size: 13 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.1-30.6°C

Depth: 1-36m

Habitat Generalization Index: 29.06

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Common (26.8% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (3 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland