Chaetodon burgessi, also known as black-barred butterflyfish and Burgess’ butterflyfish has a white body with three broad, brownish-black diagonal bars. The first of these is the eye bar. A second runs from the nape to a point just below and behind the pectoral fin. The third bar runs from the base of the third dorsal spine to the anal fin leaving the dorsal fin, caudal peduncle and posterior portion of the anal fin deep brownish-black. The tail is white or translucent and the dorsal fin has a narrow white margin.
Chaetodon burgessi is to be found in the Western Pacific from Indonesia and the Philippines to Palau and northeastern Borneo to Flores and Pohnpei. Recently reported from Tonga on reef drop-offs where there is an abundance of gorgonians and black corals.
Burgess’ butterflyfish has a bold attitude and a great appetite; he is probably one of the hardiest butterflyfishes in captivity. It is not common but soon settles down to aquarium life.
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.
Relatively easy Butterflyfish to keep. If quarantined properly and introduced to captive life by stages, it will do very well. After a time, this fish may boss around other fishes even larger than itself. It is not reclusive and swims in the open most of the time. It seems to often be curious about what is on the other side of the aquarium wall. The Burgess will eat most typical omnivore foods and even pick at seaweed and algae sheets provided to tangs and other herbivores.
Western Pacific; 12 cm; uncommon
Okinawa specimens (very rare) with a yellow eye-band and yellowish body; common in Indonesia where seen in shallow waters; originally described based upon Palauan
specimens; now shipped from Philippines and Indonesia; very easy to keep, often soon feeds on various diets after introduction to tanks
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