Chaetodon lunulatus

Pinstriped butterflyfish | Pacific Pinstriped Butteflyfish
Chaetodon lunulatus
Chaetodon lunulatus, adult, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns, Australia, Photo: Andrew Green
Chaetodon lunulatus
Chaetodon lunulatus, adult, Bali, Indonesia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Chaetodon lunulatus
Chaetodon lunulatus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Yellow with slight violet tint, intricate purple stripes along body and pale purple tail base. Small black dash on one of the stripes on the upper body, black band on tail and black lips. C. trifasciatus (Melon Butterflyfish) in Indian Ocean has yellow/orange tail base.


Max Size: 14 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.9-31.2°C

Depth: 3-30m

Habitat Generalization Index: 21.4

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 (43.0% 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