Sixspine Butterfly Fish: Parachaetodon ocellatus

Sixspine butterfly fish is a very attractive fish which is also known as Ocellated Coralfish, Eye-spot Butterflyfish, Six-spined Butterfly-fish or Six-spined Coralfish. It has compressed, sub-rhomboidal body with prominent snout. Anterior portions of soft dorsal and anal fins are the highest. Lateral line ceases the opposite of the posterior fourth of the dorsal fin. 

Systematic Position

  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Chaetodontidae
  • Genus: Parachaetodon
  • Species: Parachaetodon ocellatus

The fish has a white-brown color with five vertical brown bands. The first band runs through the eye which is orange in color with black edges. The fourth band with a black white-edged ocellus or eye like spot is present on base of the soft dorsal fin. The fifth band is over the free portion of the tail. It can reach up to 18 cm (7.1 inches) in length at adult stage.

It inhabits sand or silty bottom on coral reefs. Juveniles do not form schools but adult forms school with large numbers over open muddy substrates in deep water region. They are omnivorous fish and feed on benthos and coral associated invertebrates.

They are Indo-Pacific fauna and available in Red Sea, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea, Gulf of Thailand and seas around Malaysia and Indonesia including India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Globally this fish has no fisheries interest as food fish. However, as aquarium fish its demand is increasing day by day.

Quick Stats

  1. Scientific Name: Parachaetodon ocellatus
  2. Common Name: Ocellated coralfish, Eye-spot Butterflyfish, Six-spined Butterfly-fish or Six-spined Coralfish
  3. Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons
  4. Temperament: Peaceful
  5. Adult size: 18 cm
  6. Diet: Omnivore
  7. Coral Safe: Yes
  8. Tank-mates: Peaceful or non-aggressive fish
  9. Temperature Range: 72 - 82°F (22 – 27°C)
  10. Specific Gravity: 1.020-1.026
  11. pH: 8.0 - 8.5
  12. Care Level: Moderate