Uncommon in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to Samoa, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island and throughout Micronesia. In Australia recorded from reefs on the North West Shelf region of Western Australia, the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to central New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents coral rich areas of reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs, juveniles frequenting inshore areas. Depth from 2 to 20 m.
Oblique black lines leading to black patch on upper back. Black saddle on tail-base and yellow ventral fins distinguish from similar C. ocellicaudus, Spot-tail Butterflyfish. Usually solitary or in pairs, feed on octocoral and sclerectinian coral polyps. Juvenile around 50 mm shown here, grows to 18 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.206.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Chaetodon-melannotus.html. Accessed 23/11/2018.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=chaetodon+melannotus. Accessed 23/11/2018.