I lately shared some photographs of butterflyfish from the Indo Pacific and Pink Sea areas, touching briefly on Chaetodon semilarvatus, the Masked Butterfly. On condition that’s it’s such a beautiful fish and such a powerful species when photographed, I believed I’d share a few of my photographs of the this Pink Sea stunner!
The very first thing I did was verify on the species’ identify. I got here throughout many widespread names, together with Blue Cheeked, Masked, Golden, Pink-lined, and a brand new one to me: Addis Butterfly. This type of factor is sort of widespread after all, however I’ve all the time questioned if the extra names a fish goes by corelates with the curiosity a fish generates. However I digress. It’s a lovely animal that below dive lights or in shallow water actually stands out on the reef. It’s fairly a big butterfly, at a bit of over 20cm. Its most notable characteristic, the blue cheek, makes it simply recognisable. Look extra carefully although and the skinny line on the rear of the dorsal and anal is sort of beautiful. The fish is usually seen in free shoals, generally with different related species, however in my expertise it’s often seen in pairs. If the fish does present sexual dimorphism, then I don’t know what the variations are. If anybody does know, please let me know.
C. semilarvatus will be saved in captivity, although I’ve heard that they are often difficult now and again so ought to be solely saved by skilled aquarists. As for being reef secure, effectively sure and no, they’re naturally feeders on coral polyps and invertebrates, so if saved in a big sufficient tank and well-fed with specialist meals they might depart a number of the extra noxious species alone.
On a ultimate word, and for the sake of accuracy: while I checklist these fish as Pink Sea endemics, they’re additionally discovered within the close by Gulf of Aden.