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Chaetodon lunula

Raccoon butterflyfish , Chaetodon lunula (*)

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Osteichthyes
Classis: Actinopterygii
Subclassis: Neopterygii
Infraclassis: Teleostei
Superordo: Acanthopterygii
Ordo: Perciformes
Subordo: Percoidei
Superfamilia: Percoidea
Familia: Chaetodontidae
Genus: Chaetodon
Species: C. lunula-


The raccoon butterflyfish, Chaetodon lunula, also known as the crescent-masked butterflyfish or lunule butterflyfish, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Indo-Pacific region and in the southeast Atlantic. Its length is up to 20 cm (nearly 8 in).[1]

It belongs to the large subgenus Rabdophorus which might warrant recognition as a distinct genus. In this group, its closest relative is probably the very similar Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish or diagonal butterflyfish, C. fasciatus. Other close relatives appear to be the black butterflyfish, C. flavirostris), Philippine butterflyfish, C. adiergastos, and perhaps also the unusual redtail butterflyfish, C. collare. Although the coloration of this group varies greatly, they are all largish butterflyfishes with an oval outline, and most have a pattern of ascending oblique stripes on the flanks. Except in the red-tailed butterflyfish, there is at least a vestigial form of the "raccoon" mask, with a white space between the dark crown and eye areas.[2]

In the aquarium

The raccoon butterflyfish is generally not aggressive towards other fish, with the exception of lionfish[disambiguation needed] and triggerfish. In captivity, the typical lifespan of a raccoon butterflyfish is five to seven years. It has been observed as a beneficial predator of Aiptasia and Majano sea anemones. They will eliminate this nuisance pest within a two- to six-week period depending on the anemone population and size of the tank; however, they will eagerly feed on any soft corals and may cause more harm than good to the decoration. In a confined environment, this species is prone to succumbing to "marine ich", infection by the ciliate Cryptocaryon irritans.


1. ^ FishBase [2008]
2. ^ Fessler & Westneat (2007), Hsu et al. (2007)


* Fessler, Jennifer L. & Westneat, Mark W. (2007): Molecular phylogenetics of the butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae): Taxonomy and biogeography of a global coral reef fish family. Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45(1): 50–68. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2007.05.018 (HTML abstract)
* FishBase [2008]: Chaetodon lunula. Retrieved 2008-SEP-01.
* Hsu, Kui-Ching; Chen, Jeng-Ping & Shao, Kwang-Tsao (2007): Molecular phylogeny of Chaetodon (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae) in the Indo-West Pacific: evolution in geminate species pairs and species groups. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 14: 77-86. PDF fulltext

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Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License