Four Eyed Butterflyfish

Four Eyed Butterflyfish
Latin name:
(Chaetodon capistratus)

Care Level





Clear, Tan, White, Yellow



Preferred Conditions

sg 1.020-1.025, 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4

Avg. Max Size


Minimum Tank Size


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Have you ever encountered a fish with four eyes? If not, prepare to be amazed by the Four Eyed Butterflyfish, a captivating marine creature that possesses this extraordinary feature. Join us as we delve into the depths of its habitat, explore its distinctive characteristics, and unravel the secrets of its survival.

Four Eyes for a Broader Perspective

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish, scientifically known as Chaetodon capistratus, is a member of the Chaetodontidae family. It inhabits the tropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean, ranging from Florida and the Bahamas to Brazil. This fish is renowned for its unique adaptation of having four eyes, a feature that sets it apart from its fellow marine inhabitants.

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish’s eyes are divided into two pairs, each with a distinct function. The upper pair of eyes is positioned on the top of its head, providing it with a panoramic view of its surroundings. This elevated perspective allows the fish to keep an eye out for potential predators and food sources.

The lower pair of eyes, located on the front of its face, is responsible for binocular vision. This specialized vision enables the fish to accurately judge distances and depths, a crucial ability for hunting and avoiding obstacles in its underwater environment.

Striking Coloration and Patterns

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish is not only known for its unique eyes but also for its vibrant coloration and intricate patterns. Its body is adorned with a striking yellow hue, complemented by a series of black vertical stripes and a distinctive black spot near its tail. These vibrant markings serve as a form of camouflage, helping the fish blend into its surroundings and evade predators.

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish’s coloration also plays a role in communication. During courtship rituals, males display their vibrant colors to attract potential mates. The intensity and vibrancy of their colors indicate their health and fitness, making them more desirable to females.

Habitat and Behavior

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish primarily inhabits coral reefs and rocky coastlines, where it finds shelter and an abundance of food sources. It is a diurnal species, meaning it is active during the day and rests at night. During the day, the fish can be seen swimming in small groups or pairs, foraging for food among the coral formations.

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish is an omnivorous feeder, with a diet consisting of a variety of marine organisms. It feeds on algae, small crustaceans, mollusks, and occasionally zooplankton. Its specialized mouth structure allows it to scrape algae and other food particles from rocks and coral surfaces.

Adaptations for Survival

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish has evolved several adaptations that enhance its survival in its marine environment. Its flattened body shape allows it to maneuver easily through narrow crevices and coral formations. Additionally, its sharp dorsal and anal fins provide stability and agility while swimming.

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish also possesses a unique defense mechanism. When threatened, it can produce a toxic substance that deters predators. This chemical compound, released from its skin, acts as a warning signal to other fish, preventing them from attacking.

Conservation Status and Threats

The Four Eyed Butterflyfish is currently classified as a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, it faces several threats to its survival, including habitat loss due to coastal development and pollution.

Overfishing is another significant threat to the Four Eyed Butterflyfish. Its vibrant colors and unique appearance make it a popular target for the aquarium trade. Unsustainable fishing practices can lead to population declines and disrupt the delicate balance of marine ecosystems.


The Four Eyed Butterflyfish is a captivating marine creature that embodies the wonders of the underwater world. Its unique adaptations, vibrant coloration, and intriguing behaviors make it a fascinating subject of study and admiration. As we continue to explore and appreciate the diversity of marine life, it is essential to protect and conserve these remarkable creatures for future generations.

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