Latin name

Chaetodon quadrimaculatus

Other names

Four-spotted butterflyfish, сoralfish, fourspot quad, fourspot quad butterfly, fourspot quad butterflyfish, neon-banded butterflyfish.


Fourspot butterflyfish have very fine, hair-like teeth that allow them to target small organisms inaccessible to most other fish. To catch food, the fish must be able to hover motionless in the air while nibbling on coral and swim short distances quickly to catch prey. They do this by using their pectoral fins as paddles to brake, accelerate, and turn.

Features of fish fins

Dorsal spines (total): 13-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 20-23; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 16-18.

Fish colouring

They have a dark yellow-brown body with two white spots on each side. 


Inhabit the Pacific Ocean from the Ryukyu Islands, Ogasawara (Bonin) and Taiwan to the Hawaiian, Marquesas and Pitcairn Islands, south to the Samoan and Australian Islands and the Mariana and Marshall Islands in Micronesia.


Marine benthopelagic tropical species associated with reefs. Depth range 0 to 43 m, usually 2 to 15 m. 


Maximum length for males is 16.0 cm.


Because of their dependence on corals, fish tend to settle in stable feeding areas with high fidelity to each location and defense mechanisms dominated by males. The social structure is dominated by heterosexual pairs, while juveniles are usually solitary. However, heterosexual pairs. In this pairs, the evidence favors the evolution of sex roles rather than mutual territorial defense. In this division of labor, males actively defend the territory, allowing females to successfully obtain food and thus increase their fecundity.

Food and feeding habits

They usually feed on corals by removing individual polyps, leaving the calcareous skeleton intact. They capture prey with the tips of their upper and lower jaws.


They usually reproduce in monogamous pairs. They reproduce by spawning when gonochoric males and females release their respective gametes into the water column for fertilization. Pelagic eggs are usually less than 1 mm in size, and fertilized eggs hatch in about 30 hours. Parental care is virtually absent in this species due to its reproductive tactic of breeding by spawning. After larval development and hatching, the juveniles settle directly on corals that provide protection from predators.


Not of commercial interest to fishermen. Fished for sale to aquarists.

Relationship with a person

These fish are not easy to keep. They are recommended for professional aquarists only.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Chaetodontidae
Genus Chaetodon
Species C. quadrimaculatus
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 16
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Not edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Fourspot butterflyfish

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