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      Blacktail Butterflyfish
      Blacktail Butterflyfish

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      Reef Keeper

      Registered: July 2003
      Location: Sumner
      Posts: 7,855
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      Scientific Name: Chaetodon austriacus
      Common Names: Blacktail Butterflyfish, Exquisite Butterflyfish, Red Sea Melon Butterflyfish
      Max. size: 13.0 cm SL (male/unsexed)
      Environment: reef-associated; non-migratory; marine; depth range 1 - 15 m
      Distribution: Western Indian Ocean = Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
      Morphology: Dorsal spines (total): 13; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-21; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 19; Vertebrae: 24. Axillary scale present. Color: Presence of band around head connected at the nape and throat. Mouth and chin area black while interorbital area with varying patterns of lines, dots and triangles.
      Biology: Found in coral rich areas; juveniles confined to single coral heads. Territorial and usually in pairs. Mainly diurnal.
      Aquarium Care: This species has a very poor survival rate in captivity. Its diet in the wild consists of hard coral polyps (one study showed the fish take 90 bites at coral polyps in a 20 minute period). This specializied diet is very difficult to duplicate in the aquarium. On rare occasion, a young specimen can be taught to accept aquarium foods. Not a good choice for tank life.
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      Additional Info
      Keywords: Blacktail Butterflyfish; Exquisite Butterfly; Red Sea Melon Butterflyfish

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