Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Chaetodontidae

Scientific Name: Chaetodon interruptus
Species Authority: Ahl, 1923
Common Name(s):
English Yellow Teardrop Butterflyfish, Yellow Teardrop Butterflyfish
Chaetodon unimaculatus interruptus Ahl, 1923
Taxonomic Notes: This species has formerly been considered to be a subspecies of Chaetodon unimaculatus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-08
Assessor(s): Myers, R. & Pratchett, M.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.

While there have been no declines documented, this species is dependent on live coral cover, which may therefore make it susceptible to habitat loss. However, it has a relatively wide distribution, apparently large population and no obvious major threats other than coral loss. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widely distributed in the Indian Ocean, from the East African coast from Socotra to South Africa, east to northern Sumatra and western Thailand including all islands in between and southern India (Burgess 1978, Allen 1980). It is found at depths ranging between about 2-45 m.
Countries occurrence:
British Indian Ocean Territory; Comoros; French Southern Territories (Mozambique Channel Is.); India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Kenya; Madagascar; Maldives; Mauritius; Mayotte; Mozambique; Myanmar; Réunion; Seychelles; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western
Lower depth limit (metres):45
Upper depth limit (metres):2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is generally common with stable populations (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is associated with lagoon and seaward reefs, where it is usually found in areas with abundant soft or hard corals. Occurs alone or in small groups. Feeds on a varied diet comprising hard and soft coral fragments, sponges, polychaetes, and filamentous algae (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is occasionally collected for the aquarium trade (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species likely relies on live coral for food and/or recruitment, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Currently this is not considered a threat, and there appear to be no other major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There appear to be no species specific conservation measures in place. This species is present within marine protected areas. Monitoring of this species is needed in conjunction with coral monitoring, as well as determination of the degree of co-dependence between this species and corals. Research is required to establish its specific dietary requirements and reliance on coral, and the threat of coral loss.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.1. Outer Reef Channel
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.2. Back Slope
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.3. Foreslope (Outer Reef Slope)
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes
9. Marine Neritic -> 9.8. Marine Neritic - Coral Reef -> 9.8.4. Lagoon
suitability: Suitable  major importance:Yes

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Minority (<50%) ♦ severity: No decline ⇒ Impact score: Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Unknown ♦ severity: No decline ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. Wiley, New York.

Allen, G.R. and Adrim, M. 2003. Coral reef fishes of Indonesia. Zoological Studies 42(1): 1-72.

Burgess, W.E. 1978. Butterflyfishes of the world. A monograph of the Family Chaetodontidae. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey.

Fricke, R. 1999. Fishes of the Mascarene Islands (Réunion, Mauritius, Rodriguez): an annotated checklist, with descriptions of new species. Theses Zoology, Königstein, Germany.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Letourneur, Y., Chabanet, P., Durville, P., Taquet, M., Teissier, E., Parmentier, M., Quéro, J.-C. and Pothin, K. 2004. An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean. Cybium 28(3): 199-216.

Pereira, M.A.M. 2000. Preliminary Checklist of Reef-associated Fishes of Mozambique. MICOA, Maputo.

Citation: Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon interruptus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165684A6090778. . Downloaded on 13 October 2015.
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