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Racoon Butterflyfish

Chaetodon lunula


The Raccoon Butterflyfish Chaetodon lunula is well named for its "masked" face. Like its terrestrial namesake, the mammal native to North America called the Common Raccoon, this fish is well suited for nighttime hunting activities. In the wild this fish will usually stay hidden during the daylight hours and spend its nights foraging for food. Like the mammal, this masked marauder has big eyes too, especially for a butterflyfish. This is probably an adaptation for a nocturnal lifestyle. This butterflyfish is quick to catch the eye with its high contrast "bandit" type color patterning. It has a rich golden to warm brown background accented with bold black bars. The black eye bar, backed by a strong white band, creates its mask. Other descriptive common names they are known by include the Halfmoon butterflyfish, Moon butterflyfish, Crescent-masked Butterflyfish, Lunula Butterflyfish, Bandit Butterflyfish, Redstriped Butterflyfish, and Spotted Butterflyfish.


This fish was hanging out in a depression in the top of a coral in water about three feet deep.

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Spotted by

Spotted on Oct 13, 2014
Submitted on Dec 1, 2014

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