Chaetodon ocellatus is also commonly referred as the Spotfin butterflyfish and two-spotted butterflyfish. Spotfin butterflyfish occur in the western Atlantic Ocean, most commonly from North Carolina to Brazil. They are found in the Bahamas, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. The Gulf Stream current sometimes disperses eggs and larvae northward, resulting in sightings of juveniles as far north as Massachusetts and Canada in the summer months.
The spotfin butterflyfish is commonly found on shallow reefs around Florida, with fewer occurrences throughout the Caribbean. Juveniles of this species reside in seagrass beds.
The Spotfin butterflyfish occurring in pairs or in small groups of 4 or 5, they swims and feeds over bare, sandy bottoms. This differs from other species of butterflyfish that mainly feed in shallow reef areas.
This butterflyfish grows to a maximum of 20 cm in length, but is more common at lengths of 7-15 cm. During the day it feeds on sea anemones and tube worms. Its small, projectile mouth is adept at crevice feeding, where some of its food likes to hide. The bristle-like teeth, arranged in narrow bands in the jaws, are useful for scraping at the invertebrates, mainly the zoantharians, polychaete worms, gorgonians and tunicates, that make up its diet. This species of butterflyfish is very hardy
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.
Chaetodon bimaculatus Bloch, 1790
Sarothrodus amplecticollis Poey, 1868
Sarothrodus ataeniatus Poey, 1868
Sarothrodus maculocinctus Gill, 1861
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Chordata (Phylum) > Vertebrata (Subphylum) > Gnathostomata (Superclass) > Pisces (Superclass) > Actinopteri (Class) > Perciformes (Order) > Percoidei (Suborder) > Chaetodontidae (Family) > Chaetodon (Genus) > Chaetodon ocellatus (Species)