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Chelmon muelleri

Chelmon muelleriis commonly referred to as Beaked Coralfish, Black-fin Coralfish, Black-fin Coral-fish, Highfin Coralfish, Müller's Coralfish. Difficulty in the aquarium: Experts only! Very hard to keep. A aquarium size of at least 1000 Liter is recommended. Toxicity: Toxic hazard unknown.

Profilbild Urheber De Jong Marinelife, Holland

Chelmon muelleri (c) by De Jong Marinelife

Courtesy of the author De Jong Marinelife, Holland Please visit for more information.

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Chelmon muelleri 
Müllers Pinzettfisch 
Beaked Coralfish, Black-fin Coralfish, Black-fin Coral-fish, Highfin Coralfish, Müller's Coralfish 
Family tree:
Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Chaetodontidae (Family) > Chelmon (Genus) > muelleri (Species) 
Initial determination:
Klunzinger, 1879 
Sea depth:
2 - 10 Meter 
bis zu 20cm 
21°C - 27°C 
~ 1000 Liter 
Experts only! Very hard to keep 
Not available as offspring 
Toxic hazard unknown 
Not evaluated 
Red List:
Least concern (LC)  
Related species at
Catalog of Life
Last edit:
2018-10-30 10:49:13 


Klunzinger, 1879

Chelmon muelleri also commonly referred as the Blackfin coralfish, Muelleri Butterfly or Müller's Coralfish is found exclusively on coastal reefs and estuaries of Queensland/Australia. Recently recorded from northwestern Australia.

Chelmon muelleri is closely related to the Copperband Butterfly, the Muelleri Butterfly fares notably better in captivity than its shorter-snouted relative. Müller's Coralfish is highly sought after by collectors of rare butterflies, though not often available,

Most individuals can be kept in a reef tank with most soft corals and small-polyped stony corals - although some individuals may nip at large-polyped stony corals, certain soft corals and zoanthids. One advantage in keeping a Chelmon muelleri in a reef tank is that most will eat Aiptasia; however, some individuals will ignore them. One possible drawback to housing this fish in a reef tank is that it will decimate polychaete worm populations.


Butterflyfish are not recommended for reefs as they will pick at or eat a wide variety of corals, fan worms, and other invertebrates. Most Butterflyfish are known to pick at Aiptaisia, a parasitic anemone.

Chelmo muelleri Klunzinger, 1879
Chelmo Mülleri Klunzinger, 1879
Chelmon mülleri Klunzinger, 1879

Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopterygii (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Chaetodontidae (Family) > Chelmon (Genus)

External links

  1. FishBase (multi). Abgerufen am 19.08.2020.
  2. Fishes of Australia (en). Abgerufen am 19.08.2020.
  3. Hippocampus Bildarchiv (de). Abgerufen am 30.03.2021.
  4. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (multi). Abgerufen am 19.08.2020.



Chelmon muelleri (c) by De Jong Marinelife


copyright Johnny Jensen, Dänemark

Husbandry know-how of owners

am 15.02.06#1
Mueller's Butterflyfish is a bit easier to maintain and get to eat than the Copperband (C. rostratus). Above normal but not hard. Maybe it should be rated at 2.5 This fish likes corals and especially Aiptasia.

Feeding and foods: A stubborn fish to sometimes start eating, but I culture Aiptasia in my refugium for just such 'customers.' Offering young Aiptasia dropped from the surface teaches this fish that it CAN eat in captivity AND that 'manna' comes from above. After this introduction, most of mine I can get to eat finely chopped scallop and opened clams on the half-shell. Then soak these foods in vitamins and slip in other fare now and then.

It is shy and peaceful but once eating, it isn't bashful at feeding time! The fish is not a panicky kind of fish. But using a dither fish in quarantine, will help calm it down.

As always the aquarist will have an easier time acclimating this fish to the captive environment by first putting it through quarantine where the fish can learn to feed (and can be inspected to be sure it is disease-free), and relax.

The fish is not often offered in North America, but now and then they come in, in fairly great numbers. Choose a healthy specimen of about 3" (7.8 cm) and make sure its nose/mouth is not injured, otherwise it will never start to eat.
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