Meyer's butterflyfishChaetodon meyeri

  • Fringing Reef
  • Fish
  • Butterflyfish


Chaetdon meyeri is also known as the Maypole Butterflyfish, Meyer's Butterfly, Meyer's Coralfish and Scrawled Butterflyfish, from the order of Perciformes and family of Chaetodontidae.

The body’s colour is white to greyish with black diagonal streaks curving posteriorly running across. There is a yellow gradient that extends all around the edges of the fish’s body. There are black bars, rimmed with yellow which is present behind the mouth; one crosses through the eye. Its body shape is in the form of a compressed oral disc. A small mouth is present at the tip of a short, pointed snout. The edges of the dorsal and anal fins are sharply angular. It can reach a maximum of 20cm.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present throughout the Indo-Pacific region, from East Africa to the Line Islands; north of the Ryukyu Islands; south of the Great Barrier Reef; including Micronesia and the Galapagos Islands. Recorded depth range is between 2 to 30 m. It is found in coral rich areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs. Diet consists exclusively of live corals; may feed on coral mucus as well. Juveniles are usually solitary occurring among branching corals while adults are usually paired and home-ranging. Chaetodon meyeri is 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. No declines in populations have been documented but this species does feed on live coral and with the more frequent events of coral bleaching due to climate change, this species might be at risk. Alongside monitoring of coral cover, this species needs to be monitored as well. It is caught in artisanal fisheries and seldom collected for aquarium trade. No conservation measures are in place for this species but it is present in many MPAs within its range.

Did you know?

This species feeds exclusively on corals and does not survive on any substitute food.