Blackfin Butterflyfish


Name: Blackfin Butterflyfish

Local name: Rageeha, Meshietalaroose

Scientific name: Chaetodon melapterus

Classification: Class: ray-finned fishes; Order: perch-likes; Family: butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae)

Size: It attains a total length of 12 cm.


This species inhabits shallow, coral-rich areas at depths between 1 m and 20 m, where it occasionally forms aggregations. It feeds almost exclusively on coral polyps. It is oviparous and forms pairs during breeding.


The Blackfin Butterflyfish ranges from the southern Red Sea, via the southern coasts of Arabia to the Arabian Gulf.

Conservation status:

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species classifies the Blackfin Butterflyfish as Least Concern (LC) in its global assessment, but Vulnerable (VU) in the regional assessment for the Arabian Gulf, because of declining coral areas. The species is not targeted in fisheries, but important for the aquarium trade.


The body is deep, ovate, and compressed; and the small mouth with numerous brush-like teeth is terminal. The caudal fin is rounded. Body coloration is a bright yellow or orange-yellow, and abruptly black posteriorly below the base of the dorsal and anal fins and on the caudal peduncle. There are oblique orange to reddish lines on the body, two vertical black bars on the head, and the front of the snout and chin are black. Dorsal and anal fins are black with a narrow yellow margin, while paired fins are yellow.