Chaetodon ocellatus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chaetodon ocellatus
Species Authority: Bloch, 1787
Common Name/s:
English Butterbun, Common Butterflyfish, School Mistress, Spotfin Butterflyfish, Spotfin Butterflyfish, Two-spotted Butterflyfish
Spanish Isabelita amarilla, Isabelita de lo alto, Mariposa, Mariposa perla amarilla, Parche ocelado amarillo
Chaetodon bimaculatus Bloch, 1790
Sarothrodus amplecticollis Poey, 1868
Sarothrodus ataeniatus Poey, 1868
Sarothrodus maculocinctus Gill, 1861

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-09-03
Assessor/s: Rocha, L.A.
Reviewer/s: Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
It is a widely distributed species present and common in several protected areas. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species has been recorded from New England south to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda. Larvae are carried north in the Gulf Stream, but recruits do not survive the winter (Carpenter 2002). It is found from 1-30 m depth. There is one record (one specimen, 3 cm) from Musquodoboit Harbor, Nova Scotia, Canada (Allen 1980).
Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Brazil; Canada; Cayman Islands; Colombia; Costa Rica; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; French Guiana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Jamaica; Martinique; Mexico; Montserrat; Netherlands Antilles; Nicaragua; Panama; Puerto Rico; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of; Virgin Islands, British; Virgin Islands, U.S.
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northwest; Atlantic – southwest; Atlantic – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is common throughout its range.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This is predominantly a shallow coral and rocky reef species feeding on various benthic invertebrates. It occurs commonly in pairs (Carpenter 2002).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It was driven to local extinction in some localities along the Brazilian coast due to extraction for the aquarium trade (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2009); however, its global population does not seem to be under any major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Present in several conservation areas throughout the Caribbean and Brazil.
Citation: Rocha, L.A. 2010. Chaetodon ocellatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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