Thai National Parks

Species of Thailand

Scrawled butterflyfish

Chaetodon meyeri

Marcus Elieser Bloch & Johann Gottlob Theaenus Schneider, 1801

The Scrawled Butterflyfish, Chaetodon meyeri, is a species of butterflyfish (family Chaetodontidae). It is found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean from East Africa to the Line Islands; north to the Ryukyu Islands; south to the Great Barrier Reef; including Micronesia and the Galapagos Islands.

Growing to a maximum length of 20 cm (nearly 8 in), its body is whitish or blue-white with curved to oblique black bands on the sides. A yellow-edged black bar runs through the eye, another is on the snout.

It is a close relative of the Mailed Butterflyfish (C. reticulatus) and the Ornate Butterflyfish (C. ornatissimus). Together they make up the subgenus called "Citharoedus", but as this name had already been used for a mollusc genus when it was given to the fish, it is not valid. They are probably quite close to the subgenus Corallochaetodon which contains for example the Melon Butterflyfish (C. trifasciatus). Like these, they might be separated in Megaprotodon if the genus Chaetodon is split up.

The Scrawled Butterflyfish is found at depths between 2 and 25 m in coral-rich areas of clear seaward and lagoon reefs. They feed exclusively on coral polyps.

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Scientific classification

Chaetodon meyeri

Common names

  • English:
    • Maypole butterflyfish
    • Meyer's butterflyfish
    • Meyer's coralfish
    • Scrawled butterflyfish
  • Spanish: Mariposa de Meyer
  • French: Chétodon de Meyer


  • Holacanthus flavoniger, Bernard Germain de Lacépède (1802)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)


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Scrawled butterflyfish
Chaetodon meyeri

Range Map

Distribution map of Scrawled butterflyfish, Chaetodon meyeri in Thailand
  • Similan Islands
  • Surin Islands
Range map of Chaetodon meyeri in Thailand