Saddleback Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium)

Care Level: Moderate
Behavior: Semi-aggressive
Reef Compatible: With Caution
Max Size: Up to 9"
Diet: Omnivore

Saddleback Butterflyfish (Chaetodon Ephippium)


The Saddleback Butterflyfish, otherwise known as the Saddle Butterflyfish or the Saddled Butterflyfish, are gray in body with yellow lips, and yellow-orange trim. They are known for the large black marking on the rear-ends of their dorsal fins. This marking, lined with a curved, white stripe, gives the illusion of a saddle.


It is best to house the Saddleback Butterflyfish in a 125 gallon tank or larger with live rock for grazing and room for swimming. Saddlebacks are not the best reef dwellers. They eat and nip at soft and stony corals (sessile invertebrates) and clam mantles. If you are planning on introducing them into an aquarium as a pair, make sure they are the only species in the aquarium and they are a male-female pair.



The diet of the Saddleback Butterflyfish should include: meat preparations, chopped clam, and enriched mysis.

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BluReef Aquarium

2198 Flatbush Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11234

United States

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