Marcella Butterfly

Prognathodes marcellae

(0 Reviews)

Marcella Butterfly

Marcella Butterfly

Prognathodes marcellae

(0 Reviews)

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Marcella Butterfly Care Facts

Care Level: Expert
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Origin: Eastern Atlantic Ocean
Acclimation Time: 3+ hours
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons
Max Size: 5 inches

The Marcella Butterflyfish (Prognathodes marcellae) has many common names, including the Jewel Butterfly, Diamond Butterfly, and French Butterfly. They naturally occur in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, where they travel in pair among the reefs. They have a white or gold body with two black bands, one reaching from their eye to dorsal fin, the other right before the base of their caudal fin. They feed on a variety of invertebrates, including crustaceans, worms, coral polyps and algae. They reach a maximum size of 5 inches and should be housed in an aquarium with at least 100 gallons. They are best kept in a peaceful fish only system with fish of similar size and temperament. 


Marcella Butterfly Care Guide


The Marcella Butterfly (Prognathodes marcellae) is a captivating marine species that grace saltwater aquariums with its striking appearance and distinctive behavior. In this comprehensive product description, we will delve into the essential aspects of keeping this unique butterflyfish, addressing habitat, reef compatibility, size, lifespan, dietary requirements, aquaculture availability, compatibility with other marine life, sexual dimorphism, coloration changes, temperament, tank specifications, and precise water conditions. Additionally, we will explore common names and suggest five compatible tank mates. We will also highlight the advantages of obtaining the Marcella Butterfly from


Habitat of the Marcella Butterfly


The Marcella Butterfly is native to the warm waters of the Central Pacific, particularly around the Hawaiian Islands. It is commonly found in deep coral reefs, often at depths ranging from 180 to 300 feet. These depths in the wild are characterized by clear, pristine waters with a relatively low current.


Reef Compatibility of the Marcella Butterfly


The Marcella Butterfly is generally considered reef-safe, making it a suitable addition to a reef tank. This species tends to feed on coral polyps and small invertebrates, so ensuring a well-rounded diet in captivity is crucial to minimize its coral browsing behavior.


Size and Lifespan of the Marcella Butterfly


Adult Marcella Butterflies can reach a maximum size of about 5 inches (12.7 cm) in length. When properly cared for, these butterflyfish can live in a well-maintained aquarium for 5 to 7 years.


Diet in Captivity for the Marcella Butterfly


Marcella Butterflies are omnivorous and should be offered a varied diet. They readily accept high-quality marine flake and pellet foods, but their diet should include frozen and live foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and finely chopped seafood. To ensure their health and longevity, it is essential to maintain a balanced diet that mimics their natural feeding habits.


Aquaculture and Availability of the Marcella Butterfly


Marcella Butterflies are occasionally available through aquaculture; they are less commonly bred in captivity than other marine species. Availability may vary, so checking with reputable suppliers like for their current stock is advisable.


Compatibility with Other Fish and Invertebrates


Marcella Butterflies can coexist with a variety of peaceful and semi-aggressive fish species as long as they are not overly territorial or aggressive themselves. They are generally peaceful towards other non-threatening tank mates, although it is essential to monitor their interactions closely.


Sexual Dimorphism of the Marcella Butterfly


This species does not exhibit pronounced sexual dimorphism, and distinguishing between males and females based on visual characteristics is challenging.


Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes


Juvenile Marcella Butterflies typically display yellowish bodies with striking blue markings and black vertical bars. As they mature into adults, the blue markings become more prominent, and their overall coloration deepens.


Temperament of the Marcella Butterfly


Marcella Butterflies are known for their relatively peaceful temperament, making them an excellent choice for community reef aquariums. However, individual temperaments can vary, so careful observation is recommended when introducing them to an existing tank.


Tank Requirements for the Marcella Butterfly


A tank size of at least 100 gallons is recommended to provide optimal care for the Marcella Butterfly. Larger tanks are ideal for accommodating their swimming habits and providing more stable water conditions. These fish require plenty of hiding places, live rock, corals to explore, and open swimming spaces.


Water Conditions for the Marcella Butterfly


Maintaining the right water conditions is essential for the health of Marcella Butterflies. The following parameters are recommended:     

  • pH: 8.2 to 8.4
  • Salinity: 1.023 to 1.025
  • Water Temperature: 75°F to 80°F (24°C to 27°C)
  • Water Flow: Moderate


Common Names for the Marcella Butterfly


The Marcella Butterfly may also be known by other common names such as the Marcella's Butterflyfish.


Five Compatible Tank Mates for the Marcella Butterfly

  • Coral Beauty Angelfish (Centropyge bispinosa): Known for their striking colors and peaceful nature, they make great tank mates.
  • Firefish Goby (Nemateleotris magnifica): These small, peaceful gobies make excellent companions.
  • Royal Gramma Basslet (Gramma loreto): These small, vibrantly colored fish are peaceful and coexist well with the Marcella Butterfly.
  • Yellowtail Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema): This small, attractive damselfish can be a good companion.
  • Six-Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia): Known for their vibrant colors, they add activity to the tank without aggression.

Why Choose for the Marcella Butterfly


There are several compelling reasons to purchase your Marcella Butterfly from     

  • Selection: offers a wide variety of marine fish and invertebrates, ensuring access to diverse species.
  • Quality: The fish and corals available through are sourced from reputable suppliers and are known for their health and vitality.
  • Expertise: The team at consists of knowledgeable and experienced aquarists who can provide valuable advice and support for your aquarium needs.
  • Convenience: Shopping through their website is convenient and straightforward, with detailed product information, clear images, and a user-friendly interface.
  • Shipping: is committed to safe and secure shipping, ensuring your new addition arrives in excellent condition.


The Marcella Butterfly is a captivating addition to saltwater marine aquariums. This species can thrive and become a stunning centerpiece in your underwater world when properly cared for and provided with suitable tank mates, diet, and environment. offers a reliable source to acquire the Marcella Butterfly and other marine life, backed by their expertise and commitment to quality, making them an excellent choice for your aquarium needs.

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