Chaetodon unimaculatus

Teardrop Butterflyfish
Chaetodon unimaculatus
Chaetodon unimaculatus, adult, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Chaetodon unimaculatus
Chaetodon unimaculatus, Naigani Is, Fiji, Photo: Andrew Green
Chaetodon unimaculatus
Chaetodon unimaculatus, adult, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Chaetodon unimaculatus
Chaetodon unimaculatus
Chaetodon unimaculatus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Pearly white fore-body with a teardrop-shaped black blotch in middle of yellow back; yellow dorsal, anal and ventral fins; black bands run through eye and down rear margin of dorsal and anal fins across tail base. C. interruptus, an Indian Ocean species not known from Australia, has yellow all over body.


Max Size: 20 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.8-30.7°C

Depth: 1-60m

Habitat Generalization Index: 13.64

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: Frequent (15.0% 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 (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