IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Chaetodon capistratus, the four-eyed butterfly fish or the foureye butterfly fish, is the type species of Chaetodon, one of the 10 genera in the conspicuous butterflyfish family Chaetodontidae. Chaetodon capistratus inhabits tropical coral reefs, sea grass beds and shallow waters in the Western Atlantic from North Carolina to Venezuela, and is the most common Carribean butterfly fish. The large white-ringed black eyespot at the base of the tail is more conspicuous that the fish’s actual eye, which is disguised with a black stripe - a color pattern thought to function in confusing predators about which is the front end. When cornered, C. capistratus will raise its dorsal fin in a threatening posture. Four-eyed butterfly fish eat small benthic invertebrates. Adults are usually seen as individuals or in pairs, as they are one of a few fish species that mate for life. These small (7.5 cm total length) fish are harvested for their popular place in the aquarium trade.

(Fessler and Westneat 2007; Rocha 2010; Froese and Pauly 2011; Patton; Wikipedia 2012)


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