Saturday, December 28, 2013

Creature Feature #73: Butterflyfish

Butterflyfish are a Family of small and colourful fish that make their home amongst the coral reefs in the tropical and sub-tropical oceans of the world. There are over 120 species, and an entire rainbow of colours, the colouration is thought to be used as a form of interspecies communication.The diet of the different species varies: some are corallivores, others dine on zooplankton. Corallivores, like this Eclipse Butterflyfish, are territorial, forming mated pairs and defending their personal corals. Whereas the zooplankton feeders form shoals. Butterflyfish are generally found within 18m of the surface and are active during the daylight hours, hiding in reef crevices during the night. Some of the species even change colour, their dark lines increasing and brightness becoming diluted, to allow them some camouflage during the nocturnal hours.

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