The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count 2008
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The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count 2008

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In the International Year of the Coral Reef (2008), you have the opportunity to help celebrate and record Fiji’s amazing coral reef biodiversity, show you care about our world’s delicate coral ...

In the International Year of the Coral Reef (2008), you have the opportunity to help celebrate and record Fiji’s amazing coral reef biodiversity, show you care about our world’s delicate coral reef systems, and have fun, by taking part in a week-long hunt for the Great Fiji Butterflyfish!

Easy to do, this is suitable for visitors and locals alike, whether you are a snorkeler, SCUBA diver or Glass-bottom boat passenger. We hope that tourists, school children, scientists and all people with an interest in the marine environment will take to the reefs with us to search for Butterflyfish.

Double Saddled Butterflyfish, FijiThe Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count will be held around Fiji from the 2nd to the 8th November 2008. You can do a single count during that week, or take place as many times as you like during that week, so that you cover different reefs. All data will be gratefully accepted!

So, grab your Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count slate from participating resorts and dive operators, put on your snorkel and mask and dive into the beautiful blue waters of Fiji, to be a part of history!

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The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count 2008 The Great Fiji Butterflyfish Count 2008 Presentation Transcript

  • Butterflyfish of Fiji Biology and Identification Flash Cards Photos by Stuart Gow, Resort Support, except where stated Paintings from “Reef Fish of the World” Ewald Lieske & Robert Myers, ISBN 962-593-140-6 Adapted by Helen Sykes, www.marineecologyfiji.com
  • Butterflyfish Biology
    • Butterflyfish are in the family Chaetodontidae.
    • They have deep, compressed bodies (oval-shaped when side on, thin when head on), and small, pointed mouths, with brush-like teeth.
    • Most are active during the day, and have a limited home-range of reef. Many will actively defend their territory and drive away other coral feeding fishes such as other butterflyfish, damselfish and wrasse.
    • At night Butterflyfish hide in the reef crevices and spend the night motionless.
  • Butterflyfish Species There are 116 species across the globe, including their close cousins the Bannerfish. 90% of butterflyfish species are found in the Indo-Pacific, and in Fiji at least 27 species of Butterflyfish and 6 Bannerfish can be found.
  • Butterflyfish Feeding
    • Butterflyfish depend on living coral for shelter and food.
    • Many species feed directly on living coral polyps, and others on the tiny invertebrates around the corals, or on the tube feet or tentacles of larger invertebrates such as Sea Cucumbers, Starfish, Sea Anemones or Jellyfish.
    Some Butterflyfish only eat the tentacles of the actual coral animals, and so are totally dependant on good coral health.
  • Butterflyfish Behaviour
    • Butterflyfish are often seen as the romantics of the reef, as many species are normally found in pairs, and the pairing will last for life.
    • A few species are solitary and normally found alone, while a very few species form large schools.
    • In Fiji the only species that regularly schools is the Pyramid Butterflyfish.
  • Butterflyfish ID
    • There are 27 Species of butterflyfish in Fiji.
    • They ALL have these features in common:
    • Small – less than 5-6 inches (18 -20cm) nose-to-tail
    • Oval shaped body (round at side, skinny head on)
    • Flat tail – NONE have forked tails
    • Dark band or other mark through the eye
    • Small mouth with pursed lips (like a kiss)
    • Swim near coral, usually using side (pectoral) fins
    • Often seen in pairs, rarely in schools
    • Most are yellow, white and black in colour
  • Butterflyfish identification Flash cards
    • The next slides show each of Fiji’s 27 Butterflyfish species.
    • Click once to see a photo and drawing of the fish.
    • Try and name the fish using your identification guide.
    • Click a second time to get the name and check your identification skills.
  • 1. Vagabond butterfly Chaetodon vagabundus Common White body Yellow tail and fins Hatched lines on body Three thick black bars through eye, on tail, and base of tail
  • 2. Threadfin butterfly Chaetodon auriga Limited range White body Yellow tail and back fin Black spot and long end on back fin. Thick black bar through eye.
  • 3. Chevroned butterfly Chaetodon trifascialis Limited range White body Orange fins Black tail Long body with V shaped lines Thick black bar through eye
  • 4. Lined butterfly Chaetodon lineolatus Limited range Photo by Cook, D.C. Fishbase White body Yellow tail and fins Vertical body lines Thick black bar along back and base of tail Thick black bar through eye
  • 5 . Spot-nape butterfly Chaetodon oxycephalus Unusual Photo by Randall, J.E. Fishbase White body Yellow tail and fins Vertical body lines Thick black bar along back and base of tail Black bar through eye broken into a bar and a forehead spot
  • 6. Blackbacked butterfly Chaetodon melannotus Common White body Yellow face, tail and fins Diagonal body lines Black shading along back Black bar through eye
  • 7. Double-saddled butterfly Chaetodon ulietensis Common White body Yellow tail and fins Vertical body lines Black bar through eye Two wide black bands on body Black spot at base of tail
  • 8. Teardrop butterfly Chaetodon unimaculatus Limited range White body Yellow tail and fins Thick black bar through eye and thinner one on tail Upside down black teardrop spot on side
  • 9. Dot & dash butterfly Chaetodon pelewensis Common Cream body Brown diagonal lines and rows of spots on body Orange tail
  • 10. Triangle butterfly Chaetodon baronessa Common Greyish-yellow triangular body Yellow and brown bars through eye
  • 11. Merten's butterfly Chaetodon mertensii Common White body Orange tail and back of body V shaped black lines on body Thin black bar through eye
  • 12. Ornate butterfly Chaetodon ornatissimus Limited range White oval shaped body Thick yellow lines on body Black bars through eye
  • 13. Bennett’s butterfly Chaetodon bennetti Limited range All-yellow body, tail and fins Black spot with blue edge on body Two curved blue lines on body Light black bar though eye
  • 14. Bluespot butterfly Chaetodon plebeius Limited range All-yellow body, tail and fins Long blue blotch on body Black spot at base of tail Light black bar though eye
  • 15. Redfin butterfly Chaetodon lunulatus Common Pale yellow/orange oval body Bluish diagonal lines on body Red bottom fin Black bar through eye
  • 16. Latticed butterfly Chaetodon rafflessi Common All-yellow body, tail and fins Criss-cross lines on body Thick black bar through eye and on tail Small blue mark on forehead
  • 17. Dotted butterfly Chaetodon semeion Unusual Photos by Tanaka, H. and Randall, J.E. Fishbase All-yellow body, tail and fins Horizontal lines of dots on body Thick black bar through eye and on fins Small blue mark on forehead Sometimes shows large fuzzy black blotch on body
  • 18. Speckled butterfly Chaetodon citrinellus Common Pale cream body Grey speckles on body Black bar through eye
  • 19. Forceps butterfly Forcipiger flavissimus Common Yellow body Black forehead White face Black spot below tail Nose length tip-to-eye is same as face length eye-to-side-fin
  • 20. Long-nose butterfly Forcipiger longirostris Limited range Photo by Randall, J.E. Fishbase Yellow body Black forehead White face Black spot below tail Nose length tip-to-eye is longer than face length eye-to-side-fin
  • 21. Saddled butterfly Chaetodon ephippium Limited range Pale grey/green body Large black white-edged spot on back quarter Orange chin
  • 22. Raccoon butterfly Chaetodon lunula Limited range All-yellow body, tail and fins Black and white mask Curved black bar behind face Black spot at base of tail
  • 23. Fourspot butterfly Chaetodon quadrimaculatus Unusual Photo by Randall, J.E. Fishbase All-yellow body, tail and fins Black shading on back with two white spots on each side of back Wide white bar near eye, and pale black bar through eye
  • 24. Klein's butterfly Chaetodon kleinii Common Orange body tail and fins Hazy light band on body White face with black bar through eye
  • 25. Reticulated butterfly Chaetodon reticulatus Limited range Black body and bottom fin Pale grey top fin and band behind head Creamy yellow spots on body Black bar through eye Yellow side fins
  • 26. Black butterfly Chaetodon flavirostris Unusual Photo by Randall, J.E. Fishbase Black body Gold tail and fins Gold wedge on back Grey face with orange nose
  • 27. Pyramid butterfly H emitaurichthys polylepsis Limited range White body and tail Orange markings forming triangle on body Dark brown face Found in schools, usually in deep water