Amphichaetodon howensis


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Amphichaetodon howensis
Species Authority: (Waite, 1903)
Common Name(s):
English Lord Howe Island Butterflyfish, Lord Howe Coral Fish, Lord Howe Butterflyfish, Broad-barred Butterflyfish
Chaetodon howensis Waite, 1903

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-05
Assessor(s): Pyle, R., Allen, G. & Myers, R.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Listed as Least Concern as there are no known threats to the species, and it is present within some protected areas.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species appears to be limited to the southwest Pacific, where it has been recorded from Lord Howe Island (Australia); Norfolk Island (Australia); New South Wales and southern Queensland (presumably occurring along the eastern Australian coast) (Australia); the Kermadec Islands (New Zealand); New Zealand; and the Chesterfield Islands (New Caledonia) (Burgess 1978, Steene 1978, Francis 1993). It has a preferred depth of 10 to 150 m and is seldom encountered in shallow water (Steene 1978, May and Maxwell 1986).
Australia (Lord Howe Is.); New Zealand; Norfolk Island
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – southwest
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Burgess (1978) notes that it is 'uncommon' in collections. It is generally common with stable populations (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is commonly associated with rocky reefs containing areas of live coral (Burgess 1978, Steene 1978, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). While little appears to have been recorded on the natural history of this species it is presumed to form pair bonds during breeding, and to be oviparous. The diet is believed to largely consist of small invertebrates.
Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Steene (1978) notes that the species had probably not yet been exported to the USA or Europe within the international pet trade. G.R. Allen (pers. comm. 2006) mentions that this species is occasionally collected for aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There appear to be no species specific conservation measures in place (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). The species appears to be present in marine protected areas surrounding both Lord Howe Island and the Kermadec Islands, with populations also likely to occur in other regional marine conservation sites. Additional research is generally needed into the natural history of this little-known species.

Bibliography [top]

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

Cole, R.G., Creese, R.G., Grace, R.V., Irving, P. and Jackson, B.R. 1992. Abundance patterns of subtidal benthis invertebrates and fishes at the Kermadec Islands. Marine Ecology Progress Series 82: 207-218.

Francis, M.P. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, Southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Scientific 47(2): 136-170.

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

Kulbicki, M., Randall, J.E. and Rivaton, J. 1994. Checklist of the fishes of the Chesterfield Islands (Coral Sea). Micronesica 27(1/2): 1-43.

Lieske, E. and Myers, R. 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific and Caribbean including the Red Sea. Harper Collins Publishers.

May, J.L. and Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Trawl fish from temperate waters of Australia. CSIRO Division of Fisheries Research, Tasmania, Australia.

Steene, R.C. 1978. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world. A.H. and A.W. Reed Pty Ltd., Australia.

Citation: Pyle, R., Allen, G. & Myers, R. 2010. Amphichaetodon howensis. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 28 March 2015.
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