Chaetodon ocellicaudus

Spot-tail Butterflyfish
Chaetodon ocellicaudus
Chaetodon ocellicaudus, adult, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Photo: Andrew Green
Chaetodon ocellicaudus
Chaetodon ocellicaudus, juvenile, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Chaetodon ocellicaudus
Chaetodon ocellicaudus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Black spot on tail base distinguishes it from C. melannotus (Blackback Butterflyfish), which also has oblique black lines and black patch on back, and a black saddle on tail base. Often misidentified as that species.


Max Size: 15 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 28.1-31°C

Depth: 3-50m

Habitat Generalization Index: 2.22

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: Data Deficient

Occurrence: Infrequent (5.1% 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 (2 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