Chaetodon tinkeri also commonly referred as Tinker's Butterfly is one of the rare deep water fish, formerly known to be endemic to the Hawaiian Islands but also associated with tropical marine waters around the Marquesan, Marshall, Johnston and Cook Islands. It is found at depths well below 30 m, particularly in areas where black coral (Antipathes) is abundant.
Tinker's Butterfly is a very startling contrast to most other reef butterflyfishes, Chaetodon tinkeri exhibits a strongly contrasting black and white pattern that may confuse predators at the depths it usually inhabits
Chaetodon tinkeri is a Butterfly that remains fairly small, only averaging a length of about 15 cm. Feed on a variety of planktonic and benthic organisms.
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.
My third Tinker's B has led me to the following conclusions: Fairly easy to keep; needs a lot of swimming space; prefers less light (probably because of the depth it comes from?); and will eat a variety of foods once it acclimates. As always with most butterflyfishes, it is best to put into quarantine in order to get it eating different foods, and to get it used to humans (as well as to be sure it is disease-free).
Hawaii, Johnston & Midway Atolls, Marshalls, Cook & Pitcairn Islands
Deepwater, found in more than 40 meters depth; often paired; very friendly, it takes food from diver’s hand at the first encounter in the sea!; typical specimens some from Hawaii and adjacent waters only, and unusual ones with much yellow on back from other localities (see photo); very easy to keep but expensive, still rarely appears in market; I saw one adult at a shop in Oahu; in Tarawa close relatives of the group will hybridize and many variants can be seen and sold as ‘Tarawa Tinker’s Butterflyfish’, but some are closely similar to C.flavocoronatus from Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Maug (all Marianas, extremely rare), and are incorrectly sold as this one
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