Chaetodon tricinctus

Three-band butterflyfish
Chaetodon tricinctus
Chaetodon tricinctus, adult, Lord Howe Is, NSW, Photo: Andrew Green
Chaetodon tricinctus
Chaetodon tricinctus, Lord Howe Is, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Chaetodon tricinctus
Chaetodon tricinctus


Localised, Temperate Australasia


Rounded, black and white banded body, orange lips, dorsal and anal fin margins. Schools in the water column and feeds on plankton. Restricted to Tasman Sea Islands.


Max Size: 15 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.1-25.1°C

Depth: 1-15m

Habitat Generalization Index: 28.11

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 (27.8% 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: Several (6 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