Chaetodon reticulatus

Reticulate Butterflyfish | Black Butterflyfish | Mailed Butterflyfish
Chaetodon reticulatus
Chaetodon reticulatus, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Chaetodon reticulatus
Chaetodon reticulatus, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Chaetodon reticulatus
Chaetodon reticulatus, juvenile, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Chaetodon reticulatus
Chaetodon reticulatus
Chaetodon reticulatus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Black body with white scale centres gives a regular spotted pattern. Has a broad, light edged black band down face over the eye, and an orange blotch on the edge of the anal fin. Black rather than red tail base distinguishes it from C. collare, an Indian Ocean species not known from Australia (not shown).


Max Size: 18 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 23-30°C

Depth: 1-40m

Habitat Generalization Index: 21.53

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: Frequent (16.1% 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 (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