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family Blenniidae
family Labrisomidae
family Chaenopsidae
The butterflyfishes are colorful and conspicuous small fishes commonly seen on shallow coral reefs. There are a large number of species on Indo-Pacific reefs, but only seven species occur in the Caribbean. The four shallow-water species are all Chaetodon spp., and easily separated by fin ray counts. The remaining three species, all found in deep water, have been transferred to Prognathodes spp. Larval chaetodontids are well-developed miniatures of the adults and unmistakeable.
Chaetodon capistratus
Diagnosis: A butterflyfish with a modal dorsal fin ray count of XIII,19-20 A-III,16-17 indicates Chaetodon capistratus. C. sedentarius also has thirteen dorsal spines but has 21-23 soft rays.
Chaetodon capistratus recruit
11.2 mm SL
San Blas, Panama, SB80-091
Chaetodon ocellatus
Diagnosis: A butterflyfish with a modal dorsal fin ray count of XII,19-21 A-III,16-18 indicates Chaetodon ocellatus. C. striatus slightly overlaps the count, with 21-22 soft dorsal fin rays. Small juveniles of this species are typically bright white and yellow, but some new recruits show darker body pigmentation.
Chaetodon ocellatus recruit
14.7 mm SL
darker-bodied variation
San Blas, Panama, SB81-018

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