Chaetodon multicinctus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Chaetodontidae

Scientific Name: Chaetodon multicinctus Garrett, 1863
Common Name(s):
English Multiband Butterflyfish, Pebbled Butterfly, Pebbled Butterflyfish, Pebbled Butterflyfish

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-07
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Myers, R., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Chaetodon multicinctus is an abundant species throughout its range and there are no major threats identified for this species. Two thirds of its range are enclosed by the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a no-take marine reserve.  It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll (Burgess 1978, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It generally occurs between five and 30 m depth, but may occur at depths up to 114 m (Chave and Mundy 1994).
Countries occurrence:
United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Johnston I., Midway Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):114
Upper depth limit (metres):5
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


It is generally very common with stable populations.

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Chaetodon multicinctus is an obligate corallivore that shows a strong preference for the coral Pocillopora meandrina (Tricas 1989b, Cox 1994), is territorial (Tricas 1989a) and is a monogamous pair spawner (Reese 1975) with an elaborate courtship behaviour (Lobel 1989a) observed from March to July (Lobel 1989b, Tricas and Hiramoto 1989). Tricas and Hiramoto (1989) report the onset of reproductive maturity for male C. multicintus at 62 mm, and for females at 44 mm corresponding to less than one year for both sexes (Tricas 1986). 

Lagoon and seaward reef areas with prolific coral growth (particularly Porites and Pocillopora). Frequently observed in pairs or small aggregations (Allen 1980). Juveniles present on shallow inshore reefs from April to September (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

This species is collected for the aquarium trade (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

This species relies on live coral for food and/or recruitment, and may therefore decline in abundance following climate-induced coral depletion. Currently there has been no documented declines associated with coral loss, and there appear to be no other major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no species-specific conservation measures for Chaeotodon multicinctus. It occurs in protected areas (e.g., the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument encloses nearly 2/3 of the species' range). Monitoring of this species is needed in conjunction with coral monitoring.

Classifications [top]

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
  Percentage of population protected by PAs (0-100):66
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Unknown ♦ severity:Unknown ⇒ Impact score:Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends
3. Monitoring -> 3.4. Habitat trends

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 National : ✓  International : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

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

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. and Allen, M. 1998. A guide to angelfishes and butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research.

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

Chave, E.H. and Mundy, B.C. 1994. Deep-sea benthic fish of the Hawaiian Archipelago, Cross Seamount, and Johnston Atoll. Pacific Science 48: 367-409.

Cox, E.F. 1994. Resource use by corralivorous butteflyfishes (Family Chaetodontidae) in Hawaii. Bulletin of Marine Science 54: 535-545.

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

Lobel, P.S. 1989a. Spawning behavior of Chaetodon multicinctus (Chaetodontidae): pairs and intruders. Environmental Biology of Fishes 25: 125-130.

Lobel, P.S. 1989b. Ocean current variability and the spawning season of Hawaiian reef fishes. Environmental Biology of Fishes 24: 161-171.

Reese, E.S. 1975. A comparative field study of the social behavior and related ecology of the family Chaetodontidae. Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie 37: 37-61.

Tricas, T.C. 1986. Life history, foraging ecology, and territoria behavior of the Hawaiian butterflyfish, Chaetodon multicinctus. University of Hawai'i.

Tricas, T.C. 1989a. Determinants of feeding territory size in the corallivorous butterflyfish, Chaetodon multicinctus. Animal Behavior 27: 830-841.

Tricas, T.C. 1989b. Prey selection by coral-feeing butterflyfishes: strategies to maximize the profit. Environmental Biology of Fishes 25: 171-185.

Tricas, T.C., Hiramoto, J.T. 1989. Sexual differentiation, gonad development, and spawning seasonality of the Hawaiian butterflyfish, Chaetodon multicinctus. Environmental Biology of Fishes 25: 111-124.

Citation: Pyle, R., Myers, R., Craig, M.T. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon multicinctus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165655A6082463. . Downloaded on 15 October 2018.
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