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Threadfin Butterflyfish (kikakapu)

Chaetodon auriga


One of the soft dorsal spines on this handsome Indo-Pacific fish is elongated into a threadlike filament; below it is a black spot. These large omnivores are strongly paired.


Common but not abundant, they defend a large feeding territory from others of their own species. They grow to 8 inches long, reaching their greatest size in Hawaii.


Their species name means "charioteer" probably because of the whiplike dorsal filament. Hard to get a good side photo of this fast moving fish, so I included some photos from all angles!

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birdlady6000 8 years ago

Thanks, Mary! I fell in love with the reef this time! The water was so clear and it was sunny so the colours were so magical and dazzling.

MaryEvans2 8 years ago

Beautiful, nice series and great information

Spotted by

Spotted on Apr 17, 2012
Submitted on May 1, 2012

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