Hemitaurichthys polylepis

Pyramid Butterflyfish
Hemitaurichthys polylepis
Hemitaurichthys polylepis, French Polynesia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Hemitaurichthys polylepis
Hemitaurichthys polylepis, Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Hemitaurichthys polylepis
Hemitaurichthys polylepis


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Distinct triangular white body marking, white tail and dark head. All else yellow. Large schools feed on plankton in mid-water.


Max Size: 18 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 23.5-31.6°C

Depth: 3-60m

Habitat Generalization Index: 7.3

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: Infrequent (7.4% 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: Many (24 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.