This is just one species of butterflyfish. Isn't it pretty?!
Click on image for full size
Windows Original, adapted from Corel Photography
There are several species in the Chaetodontidae family, commonly known as
the butterflyfish. These colorful, bony fish are most often found near
coral reefs at depths from 1 to 100 feet. Some species of butterflyfish
are carnivorous; their meals usually consist of worms, crustaceans and
the fleshy part of corals called polyps. The rest are omnivorous, which
means they eat animals as well as plants, such as algae.
Butterflyfish come in sizes between 6 and 12 inches, and usually have
very bright colors. The Golden-striped Butterflyfish glows a beautiful
yellow, almost like a tiny Sun in the water. The Ornate Butterflyfish is
truly remarkable. Most of its body is a light blue, with bright orange
stripes flaming across. The outer edge of the fish is a greenish color,
with traces of yellow and black stripes.
This special family is easily recognized in the water because of its
shape and beauty. Butterflyfish are rather flat and oval-shaped. A short
'snout' sticks out at one end, while a fan-shaped tail stems out from the
back. The overall appearance of the fish makes them a popular pet.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Spring 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist
, focuses on the ocean, including articles on polar research, coral reefs, ocean acidification, and climate. Includes a gorgeous full color poster!
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