BANDED BUTTERFLYFISH – BAHAMAS REEF FISH (49)
The banded butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus) is one of several butterflyfish species found in Bahamas waters. There are links to some of the others at the end of this post. The reason for the name is obvious. The purpose of the patterning (striatus) is to act as an adaptive anti-predator defence when seen against the varied landscape of the coral reefs that are its home.
These little fish tend to be found either singly or in pairs. Two of them together may play a form of chase game among the corals and anemones of the reef.
Banded butterfishes, like their cousins, have a varied diet that includes small crustaceans, worms, and coral polyps. They also have a valuable role on the reef by acting a cleaner fish for larger species like grunts, tangs and parrot fish. This sort of relationship, where one party benefits from this kind of interaction , is known as ‘commensalism’, one of the 4 types of symbiotic relationship.
BUTTERFLYFISHES (RH guide to reef, banded, four-eyed & spotfin)
REEF FISH INDEX gateway to loads of colourful finny species
WHAT’S THAT FISH? A handy resource
FLORENT’S GUIDE A ditto
Credits: Melinda Riger / Grand Bahama Scuba