Pentapodus vitta

Western australian butterfish | Black Stripe Butterfish | Butterfish | Striped Whiptail | Western Threadfin Bream | Western Whiptail
Pentapodus vitta
Pentapodus vitta, adult, Shark Bay, WA, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Pentapodus vitta
Pentapodus vitta, juvenile, Dampier, WA, Australia, Photo: Andrew Green
Pentapodus vitta
Pentapodus vitta, (Night Phase) Jurien Bay, WA, Australia, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Pentapodus vitta
Pentapodus vitta
Pentapodus vitta


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Dark stripe bordered by iridescent blue lines from snout through eye to tail, grey upper body, pale belly with iridescent flecks, thin iridescent blue line along base of dorsal fin, tail can be yellow. Juveniles pale with a black stripe from snout through eye to tail, and another from between eyes, along back to tail. Endemic to Western Australia, characteristically lives in small schools near patchy seagrass.


Max Size: 26 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 16.9-31.3°C

Depth: 1-15m

Habitat Generalization Index: 2.68

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: Not Evaluated

Occurrence: Common (30.6% 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: GJ Edgar. 2008. Australian Marine Life. New Holland, Sydney