Species encyclopedia

Beaked Coral Fish

Chelmon rostratus

The bodies of butterflyfish are laterally compressed, allowing them to move about with ease through the labyrinths of coral reefs. Thanks to its elongated snout, this species can collect small crustaceans, worms and anemones from fissures in rocks and branches of coral.


They live on their own or as a couple, always close to crevasses or clumps of coral where they can hide in case of danger. Their young will sometimes venture out into brackish water.



Like most butterflyfish, this species has a vertical band that camouflages its eye and a black spot or ocellus toward the back of the body, which plays the role of a false eye. By diverting its predators’ attention, it is able to protect the most vulnerable part of its body.

In aquariology, this species of butterflyfish is highly prized, because it rids aquariums of an invasive anemone called aiptasia.

Indo-Pacific region


Species encyclopedia

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