The eye say "don't eat me"
Does the fish eat nectars or pollens of flower? The answer must be a big no. Even the flower that we are talking about is the coral. Butterflyfishes are fish that can be easily found in any tropical water in the world. They belong to chaetodontidae family, which the name derives from ancient greek words mean brush-like teeth.
Their dependency of coral reef is very high. Butterflyfishes eat coral polyps and algae. Even for some species such as Melon butterflyfish (Chaetodon trifasciatus) eats exclusively only coral polyps, particulary of Pocillopora coral.
Several species are equipped with special mechanism called the fake eyes to avoid predators. By showing the fake eyes, predators will be confused and tend to attack less dangerous area of the fish. The fake eyes are black spots located on the tail or fin.
Degradation of coral reef will give a big impact to butterflyfish because they will lose their main food source and habitat. Overfishing by fisherman should be notice because it creates an impact to the balance condition of coral reef.
Get close with our butterflyfish family in Jakarta Aquarium!
Image source: flickr.com