Saddleback Butterfly

Chaetodon ephippium

(1 Reviews)

Saddleback Butterfly
With its distinct white body, black 'saddle' spot, and orange accents, the Saddleback Butterflyfish is a captivating sight. It's moderately easy to care for and its peaceful nature makes it a perfect addition to diverse saltwater aquariums.

Saddleback Butterfly

Chaetodon ephippium

(1 Reviews)

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Saddleback Butterfly Care Facts

Care Level: Moderate
Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Omnivore
Reef Safe: No
Minimum Tank Size: 120 gallons
Max Size: 9 inches
The Saddleback Butterfly, Chaetodon ephippium, features a yellow snout that follows the bottom fin to outline the black tail, a white to tan body a with a large black spot outlined in orange and white and a black line over the eye. They are very hardy and peaceful and can be kept with other peaceful fish, but may become aggressive towards other Butterflies with a similar pattern or coloration in smaller tanks.

They are also not reef safe since they will nip at and eat soft corals and stony polyps as well as ornamental shrimp, tube worms and anemones. Diet should include a variety of mysis and vitamin enriched brine shrimp, spirulina, nori, seaweed, marine algae, and algae based foods, 2-3 times daily.

Embrace Marine Splendor: Saddleback Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ephippium) Care Guide

The Saddleback Butterflyfish, scientifically known as Chaetodon ephippium, presents a captivating addition to saltwater aquariums, offering enthusiasts a unique and visually striking marine species. This comprehensive guide aims to provide essential insights into the care and maintenance of the Saddleback Butterflyfish, ensuring a successful and fulfilling experience for hobbyists.

Habitat of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, the Saddleback Butterflyfish inhabits a variety of environments, including coral-rich areas, lagoons, and coastal reefs. Understanding its natural habitat is crucial for recreating optimal conditions in captivity.

Reef Compatibility of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

The Saddleback Butterflyfish may demonstrate a level of interest in coral polyps, particularly those of the SPS (small-polyp stony) variety. Careful observation and proper introduction are recommended for reef aquariums. They are not considered reef safe.

Size and Lifespan of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

In captivity, the Saddleback Butterflyfish typically reaches a size of 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 centimeters). With proper care, they can live for 5 to 7 years, providing a long-lasting and engaging presence in marine setups.

Diet in Captivity for the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Maintaining the health of Saddleback Butterflyfish involves offering a varied and balanced diet. They are primarily omnivorous, thriving on a combination of high-quality marine flakes, pellets, frozen foods, and live offerings such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp.

Aquaculture Availability of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Saddleback Butterflyfish are sourced from the wild. Prospective hobbyists are encouraged to check with reputable suppliers for the latest information on the availability of sustainably collected wild specimens.

Compatibility of the Saddleback Butterflyfish with Other Fish and Invertebrates:

Known for their generally peaceful nature, Saddleback Butterflyfish can coexist with various tankmates. Compatible species include:

  • Flame Angelfish (Centropyge loricula): A vibrant and compatible addition to the aquarium.
  • Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto): Known for their calm disposition, Royal Grammas are suitable tankmates.
  • Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris): A popular and adaptable clownfish species.
  • Yellowtail Damselfish (Chrysiptera parasema): Hardy and compatible, adding a splash of color.
  • Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis): These invertebrates contribute to the aquarium's ecosystem by providing cleaning services and are generally compatible with Saddleback Butterflyfish.

Sexual Dimorphism of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Saddleback Butterflyfish do not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, making it challenging to distinguish males from females based on physical characteristics alone.

Juvenile to Adult Coloration Changes in the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Juvenile Saddleback Butterflyfish exhibit a striking black "saddle" pattern on a white body, with a vibrant yellow posterior. As they mature into adults, the saddle pattern becomes less prominent, and the overall coloration intensifies, creating a visually appealing display in well-lit aquariums.

Temperament of the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Known for their calm demeanor, Saddleback Butterflyfish are generally suitable for community aquariums. However, individual temperaments can vary, necessitating careful observation during the initial introduction period.

Tank Requirements for the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

To provide an optimal environment for Saddleback Butterflyfish, consider the following tank requirements:

  • Minimum Aquarium Size: A tank with a capacity of at least 120 gallons is recommended to accommodate their size and provide ample swimming space.
  • Water Conditions:   
    • pH: Maintain a stable pH level between 8.1 and 8.4.
    • Salinity: Keep the salinity in the range of 1.020 to 1.025.
    • Water Temperature: Maintain the water temperature within the range of 74-80°F (23-27°C).
    • Water Flow: Moderate water flow is suitable, replicating their natural reef habitat.

Common Names for the Saddleback Butterflyfish:

The Saddleback Butterflyfish is also known as the Saddle Butterflyfish and Saddled Coralfish.

Why Choose for Saddleback Butterflyfish:

Consider as your trusted source for acquiring Saddleback Butterflyfish for your marine aquarium. Here's why:

  • Wide Selection: offers a diverse range of marine fish, including the Saddleback Butterflyfish, ensuring you find the perfect addition for your aquarium.
  • Quality Assurance: The platform prioritizes sourcing healthy and vibrant specimens, providing your new aquatic companion with the best start.
  • Expertise: With years of experience in the marine aquarium industry, can offer valuable advice and support, contributing to your success as a marine hobbyist.
  • Convenience: Ordering from provides a convenient way to access a variety of marine species, with shipping options available to deliver your fish safely to your door.

In conclusion, the Saddleback Butterflyfish, with its distinctive markings and peaceful nature, is a valuable addition to a saltwater aquarium. By adhering to proper care practices and providing a suitable environment, you can enjoy the beauty of this species while contributing to the diversity of your marine ecosystem. Consider as your go-to platform for acquiring a Saddleback Butterflyfish, enhancing your marine aquarium experience.

Beautiful Saddleback Butterfly - Central Pacific swims in out of the rock formation in the saltwater fish tank. Healthy and energetic after acclimation.

Reviewed by: Orlando Asumata on Sept. 11, 2021

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