Chaetodon lineolatus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Chaetodontidae

Scientific Name: Chaetodon lineolatus Cuvier, 1831
Common Name(s):
English Line Butterflyfish, Lined Butterfly, Lined Butterflyfish, Lined Butterflyfish, New-moon Coralfish
French Chétodon strié, Papillon jaune
Anisochaetodon lineolatus (Cuvier, 1831)
Chaetodon lieneolatus Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon lunatus Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon tallii Bleeker, 1854
Tetragonoptrus lineolatus (Cuvier, 1831)

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.
This species is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific and is the largest of the butterflyfishes. It is collected for the aquarium trade and captured in artisanal fisheries. However these are not thought to be causing substantial declines to the global population.This species also appears to be reliant on live corals for recruitment. Further research is recommended into this aspect of its biology. This species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, from the East African coast and the Red Sea in the west to Polynesia, including the Hawaiian Islands (USA),  from southern Japan in the north to southern New South Wales and Lord Howe Island (Australia) in the south (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). It is found at depths of 2-171 m.

Very widespread: Range size ~78.6 million km2, from values estimated by Jones et al. (2002) based on projection of distribution maps from Allen et al. (1998).

Countries occurrence:
American Samoa; Australia; British Indian Ocean Territory; Cambodia; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Djibouti; Egypt; Eritrea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India (Andaman Is., Nicobar Is.); Indonesia; Israel; Japan; Jordan; Kenya; Kiribati (Phoenix Is.); Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Réunion; Samoa; Saudi Arabia; Seychelles; Singapore; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States (Hawaiian Is.); United States Minor Outlying Islands (Howland-Baker Is., Johnston I., US Line Is., Wake Is.); Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – western; Indian Ocean – eastern; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):171
Upper depth limit (metres):2
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is generally common. It settles in areas of rich coral growth (Pratchett et al. 2008), but there have not been any documented declines in its abundance.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is generally associated with coral-rich areas of lagoons and seaward reefs. It usually occurs in pairs, but solitary individuals and small aggregations are sometimes encountered (G.R. Allen pers. comm. 2006). This species does occasionally feed on coral, but mostly consumes non-coral sessile invertebrates, such as Spirobranchus, zooanthids and clams (Pratchett 2005). Recruits have been found in areas with rich coral growth, but their reliance on live coral is currently unknown. This is the largest of all butterflyfishes, and there are unpublished reports that it may live >50 years. Because it is very long-lived, effects of recruitment failure may not be apparent for decades after coral depletion.

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is frequently exported through the aquarium trade (Pyle 2001). This species is targeted by artisanal fisheries in some parts of its range (Lawton et al. in review).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has been seen to recruit to live coral, but there have been no documented declines in abundance associated with extensive coral depletion (Pratchett et al. 2008). Adults are associated with coral reef habitats but do not rely on live coral for food. Because it is very long-lived, effects of recruitment failure may not be apparent for decades after coral depletion. There is no data on effects of aquarium collections on this species. It is also targeted by artisanal fishers, however this is not thought to be a major threat. There do not appear to any other major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures in place for Chaetodon lineolatus. This species is present within marine protected areas. Ongoing monitoring of catches by aquarium collectors is required. Research is required to confirm or understand the apparent reliance on live corals for this species.

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
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

1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.2. Harvest level trends

♦  Food - human
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

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

Bibliography [top]

Adrim, M., Chen, I.-S., Chen, Z.-P., Lim, K.K.P., Tan, H.H., Yusof, Y. and Jaafar, Z. 2004. Marine fishes recorded from the Anambas and Natuna Islands, South China Sea. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Suppl. No. 11: 117-130.

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

Cole, A.J., Pratchett, M.S. and Jones, G.P. 2008. Diversity and functional importance of coral-feeding fishes on tropical coral reefs. Fish and Fisheries 9: 286-307.

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

Jones, G.P., Caley, M.J. and Munday, P.L. 2002. Rarity in coral reef fish communities. In: P.F. Sale (ed.), Coral reef fishes; Dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem, pp. 81-101. Academic Press.

Lawton, R. J., Pratchett, M.S. and Delbeek, C. In review. Harvesting of butterflyfishes for aquarium and artisanal fisheries. In: M.L Berumen and B.G. Kapoor (eds), Biology of Butterflyfish, Science Publishers Inc.

Pratchett, M.S. 2005. Dietary overlap among coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Chaetodontidae) at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef. Marine Biology 148: 373-382.

Pratchett, M.S. and Berumen, M.L. 2008. Interspecific variation in ditributions and diets of coral reef butterflyfishes (Teleostei: Chaetodontidae). Journal of Fish Biology 73: 1730-1747.

Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae. Butterflyfishes. In: K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds), FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Volume 5. Bony fishes part 3 (Menidae to Pomacentridae), pp. 3224-3265. FAO, Rome.

Randall, J.E., Williams, J.T., Smith, D.G., Kulbicki, M., Tham, G.M., Labrosse, P., Kronen, M., Clua, E. and Mann, B.S. 2003. Checklist of the shore and epipelagic fishes of Tonga. Atoll Research Bulletin 502: 1-37.

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

Citation: Myers, R. & Pratchett, M. 2010. Chaetodon lineolatus. In: . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165669A6086327. . Downloaded on 19 June 2018.
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