News / Species Spotlight / Highly Underrated Fish - Orange kleini Butterfly (07/29/14)

Highly Underrated Fish - Orange kleini Butterfly

In the Wild

Chaetodon kleini are found just about everywhere tropical but the Atlantic. From the Western Americas to Eastern Africa, they can be found in 15 to almost 200 feet of water. Most commonly they are seen off the deep edge of reefs in 30 to 90 feet of water. They are the picture of omnivorous, feeding on algae, zooplankton, and certain coral polyps (most notably Sarcophyton and Litophyton genus). C. kleini reach a max size of 6" or so, and despite this small adult size, are still harvested as a food fish. Often found as single fish, they pair up for breeding. They have a very short population doubling time, so their resilience as a species is quite good.


In the Aquarium

Kleini butterflies go by a variety of names Klein's, Corallicola, Blacklip, and Brown, but my personal favorite is Sunburst Butterfly. They are perfect for captivity. Their small adult size allows them to be kept in small aquariums (40 gallon and up). They readily accept foods of all sorts almost immediately after acclimation. We feed them pellets and flake in addition to our meaty mix. They are extremely hardy and do well with other butterflies, even other Kleinis; just add the whole group of butterflies at once. They are excellent eaters of pesky aptasia anemones, and likely the hardiest of fish that will eat them. These fish are among the best butterflies for reef tanks, but avoid placing them with leather corals. All the fish pictured come from our MAC supplier in Fiji.