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Raccoon Butterflyfish

November 7, 2012 by  

Raccoon Butterflyfish, The raccoon butterflyfish, Chaetodon lunula, also known as the crescent-masked butterflyfish or lunule butterflyfish, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Indo-Pacific region and in the southeast Atlantic. Its length is up to 20 cm (nearly 8 in).

It belongs to the large subgenus Rabdophorus which might warrant recognition as a distinct genus. In this group, its closest relative is probably the very similar Red Sea raccoon butterflyfish or diagonal butterflyfish, C. fasciatus. Other close relatives appear to be the black butterflyfish, C. flavirostris), Philippine butterflyfish, C. adiergastos, and perhaps also the unusual redtail butterflyfish, C. collare.

Although the coloration of this group varies greatly, they are all largish butterflyfishes with an oval outline, and most have a pattern of ascending oblique stripes on the flanks. Except in the red-tailed butterflyfish, there is at least a vestigial form of the “raccoon” mask, with a white space between the dark crown and eye areas.

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