African butterflyfishChaetodon dolosus

  • Patch Reef
  • Fish
  • Butterflyfish


Chaetdon dolosus is also known as the Black-edged Butterflyfish, from the order of Perciformes and family of Chaetodontidae.

Its body is of a pale silvery yellow colour. The caudal fin is yellow while the dorsal and anal fins are black with white edges. It has a distinctive dark eye band that is connected to the nape. The rear part of the body is also blackish. Juveniles are pale olive green with vertical rows of small brownish spots and a black patch in the middle of soft dorsal rays. The maximum length of adults is 15cm.

Habitat and ecology

Its range extends from Somalia to north of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and east of Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius and Reunion in the Western Indian Ocean.There is not much information about this species. It inhabits deep offshore reefs where there are rocky or coral rubble substrates. It is generally found within a depth range of 30-200m. Juveniles are found in shallower waters, about 8m deep. Chaetodon dolosus is omnivorous, oviparous and forms pairs during breeding.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as being of ‘Least Concern’ as it is common and widespread with no major threats. It is seldom collected for aquarium trade there are no impacts on the global population. No conservation measures are in place for this species. It is present in many MPAs though.

Did you know?

The African Butterflyfish is endemic to the Western Indian Ocean.