The Raccoon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Chaetodontidae family of butterflyfish. It is also known as the Crescent-Masked Butterflyfish, Halfmoon Butterflyfish, Raccoon Coralfish, and Redstriped Butterflyfish.
The Raccoon Butterflyfish has a flat, compressed, oval-shaped body. Its colour varies considerably. Usually, it has a pattern of oblique reddish-brown stripes on its sides. It has a raccoon mask over its eyes, with a white space between the dark crown and eye area. It has a black spot near its tail. Its snout (nose) is usually yellow.
It grows to about 20 centimetres (8 inches) in length.
The Raccoon Butterflyfish is native to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean (in the Indo-Pacific region), from East Africa to the Hawaiian Islands and to Japan. It prefers shallow coral reefs and lagoons in tropical oceans.
It is territorial, defending its territory from other fish.
It is mainly nocturnal, active at night. It feeds on small invertebrates, such as tubeworms, as well as algae and coral polyps. It also likes clams and molluscs.
The Raccoon Butterflyfish lives in small groups.
It forms a monogamous pair for life.
It is oviparous. The female lays eggs which are free floating in sea water until they hatch.
[Location of photographs:Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France]
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM