Lined Butterflyfish (species: Chaetodon lineolatus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Chaetodon lineolatus
Lined Butterflyfish

©Andy Lewis: An adult Lined Butterflyfish
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Chaetodontidae
Genus Chaetodon
Species Chaetodon lineolatus



Distinguishing features

A small to medium sized yellow and white fish with a laterally compressed body. It has a black bar through the eye, and a pattern of thin vertical stripes on the sides. Very similar in colouration to C. oxycephalus - distinguished by the contiguous black bar across the forehead. The largest of the Butterflyfishes - maximum size about 30cm.


  • Up to 30 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Areas of rich coral growth in lagoons.

Found in most reef habitats around the island.


The Lined Butterflyfish is generalist feeder, taking coral polyps, anemones, invertebrates and some algae. It is usually seen in pairs in areas of rich coral growth.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene (1990). Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Other references

  • Bellwood, D.R., S. Klanten, P.F. Cowman, M.S. Pratchett, N. Konow and L. van Herwerden (2009). Evolutionary history of the butterflyfishes (f: Chaetodontidae) and the rise of coral feeding fishes, Journal of Evolutionary Biology, doi 10.1111: j1420-9101200901904x. LIRS catalog number 1348.
  • Berumen, M.L. and M.S. Pratchett (2006). Recovery without resilience: persistent disturbance and long-term shifts in the structure of fish and coral communities at Tiahura Reef, Moorea, Coral Reefs, 25: 647-653. LIRS catalog number 90045.
  • View all references