BUTTERFLYFISH - Chaetodontidae
Most with bright coloration, a dark band across the eye and an 'eyespot' dorsally.
Generally near coral reefs. Typically diurnal. Many feed on a combination of coelenterate polyps or tentacles, small invertebrates, fish eggs, and filamentous algae while others are specialists or planktivores.
Most species occur as heterosexual pairs. Pelagic spawners. Tholichthys larval stage with the head region covered with bony plates
Highly compressed body. Dorsal fin continuous, with 6-16 spines and 15-30 soft rays. Spines in anal fin 3-5, usually 3, and 14-23 soft rays. Caudal fin with 15 branched rays, rounded to emarginate. Scales extend onto anal and dorsal fins. Mouth small, terminal and protrusible with a band or rows of small brushlike teeth. Gut coiled several times. Two anteriorly directed processes in swim bladder. Vertebrae 24 (11+13).
Greek, chaite = hair + Greek, odous, odontos = tooth, teeth