NOTE: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided.
| Scientific Name:|
| Max. Size:|
| Care Level:|
See compatibility chart
| Minimum Tank Size:|
| Reef Compatible:|
DOT DASH BUTTEFLYFISH The Spot-banded Butterflyfish Chaetodon punctatofasciatusis an attractive and relatively hardy species. It has a hearty appetite and will take a variety of foods and still won’t outgrow your aquarium. It only reaches a length of up to 5 inches (12 cm) at the maximum. It is one of the easier butterflyfish to keep in captive environment and once acclimated it will even go up to the surface to take foods from its keeper.
This fish is all about spots, dots, and bands. Its color pattern is quite attractive and interesting. The body is a yellow tan on the lower haL F, becoming yellow on top. It has seven dark vertical bands and spots all over. The spotting on the upper haL F forms broken vertical stripes while those on the lower haL F become horizontal stripes. It has a yellow eyebar outlined in black that become dark brown on the eye itseL F. There is a yellow margin on the dorsal fin and a bright orange patch running through the caudal peduncle. There are a bunch of common names used to describe it. Sometimes you may hear it called the Punctato Butterflyfish, Sevenband Butterflyfish, Spotband Butterflyfish, Spotted Belly Butterflyfish, and Spots and Bands CoraL Fish.
This species is also frequently called the Dot and Dash Butterflyfish or Dot Dash Butterflyfish, but so is the Sunset Butterflyfish Chaetodon pelewensis. The main visual difference between these two species is the orientation of their spots and bands. On the Spot-banded Butterflyfish they are aligned vertically on the upper portion of the body while and on the Sunset Butterflyfish they run diagonally throughout. These two species are often found together in the wild and both are sold under the ‘dot-and-dash’ label.
If you are getting a ‘Dot-and-Dash’ Butterflyfish you will definitely want to know which species you are obtaining. Though they look very similar they differ in the degree of difficulty in keeping them. The Spotband Butterflyfish is one of the easier species to maintain, while the Sunset Butterflyfish is quite a challenge. These two also cross breed in the the Western Pacific. The hybrids are collected and shipped on occasion as well, and they too are labeled as the ‘Dot-and-Dash’ Butterflyfish.
Once fhis butterflyfish has settled in it can be a hardy pet and no technical care is needed to maintain it. It is a good choice for an intermediate aquarist. Although its natural diet consists mainly of coral polyps and algae, it will accept a wide variety of foods in the aquarium. It does need a good sized aquarium that is well established, and having good algae growth in the aquarium will help to sustain it. A 55 gallon tank is the suggested minimum size for a single fish but a much larger tank will be needed to keep more. Decorate the tank with rocks creating many caves for hiding places and lots of rocky rubble. Also make sure there is plenty of swimming space. Though not a very quick swimmer, it swims freely and usually spends a good deal of its time in the open water.
Many reef-keepers hope to keep this butterflyfish in a mini reef, but as it will be a coral eater it is best kept in a fish only community tank. They are a little shy, especially when young, but are not an aggressive species. They won’t mind friends, and a companion that is the same species or a another butterflyfish is a good choice in a larger aquarium. Other fish with a similar temperament will also make good tank mates.