Chaetodon miliaris


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Chaetodon miliaris
Species Authority: Quoy & Gaimard, 1825
Common Name(s):
English Lemon butterfly, Lemon Butterflyfish, Millet Butterflyfish, Millet Butterflyfish, Millet-seed Butterflyfish
Chaetodon mantelliger Jenkins, 1901

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-10-07
Assessor(s): Pyle, R. & Craig, M.T.
Reviewer(s): Elfes, C., Polidoro, B., Livingstone, S. & Carpenter, K.E.
Chaetodon miliaris is an abundant species throughout its range. More than two thirds of its range is enclosed by the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, a no-take marine protected area. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and Johnston Atoll (Burgess 1978, Randall 2005, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It is known to occur to at least 250 m depth.
United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Johnston I., Midway Is.)
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is very abundant in the Hawaiian Islands, but very rare at Johnston Atoll (Allen 1980, M. Craig pers. obs. 2005, G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006, P. Lobel pers. comm. 2007). Populations are generally stable (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Habitat for this species includes coastal fringing reefs, lagoons, and outer reefs to at least 250 m depth. Juveniles are found on shallow inner reefs from April to June. The species feeds in mid-water on zooplankton, supplementing the diet with benthic invertebrates (especially polychaete worms) and fish eggs (particularly those of damselfishes) (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006).

The species may form large groups and spawns in groups from January through May (Ralston 1981). Ralston (1976a) reported that the onset of reproductive maturity in Chaetodon miliaris begins at 90 mm standard length, which is equivalent to one year of age (Ralston 1976b).

The mean size of C. miliaris in Hawaii reported by Ralston (1981) was ~105 mm corresponding to approximately two years of age.

Systems: Marine

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

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

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There appear to be no major threats to this species. Collection is limited and is not considered to be impacting the global population.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place (Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources.). It is present within marine protected areas, for example, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a no-take marine reserve that encompasses 2/3 of the species range.

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.

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

Ralston, S. 1976a. Anomalous growth and reproductive patterns in populations of Chaetodon miliaris from Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaiian Islands. Pacific Science 30: 395-403.

Ralston, S. 1976b. Age determination of a tropical butterflyfish utilizing daily growth rings of otoliths. United States Fishery Bulletin 74: 990-994.

Ralston, S. 1981. Aspects of the reproductive biology and feeding ecology of Chaetodon miliaris, a Hawaiian endemic butterflyfish. Environmental Biology of Fishes 6: 167-176.

Randall, J. 2005. Reef and Shore Fishes of the Hawaiian Islands. University of Hawaii Seagrant Program, Honolulu.

Citation: Pyle, R. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Chaetodon miliaris. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 29 August 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided