Pearlscale Butterfly "Chaetodon xanthurus"

Care Level






Reef Compatible


Plant Safe


Max Size

5" - 8"

Minimum Size

75 gallon


Black, Blue, Orange, Red, White, Yellow



Water Conditions

72-78° F, KH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 1.020-1.025

General: The Pearlscale Butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus) naturally occupies the Pacific Ocean, and reefs surrounding Australia, Japan, and Indonesia. The Pearlscale Butterflyfish will reach a length of six inches, is not considered to be "reef safe", and should be kept in an aquarium larger than 85 gallons. This Butterflyfish is typically a peaceful marine fish species that should be added after having "cycled" a new aquarium. The Pearlscale Butterflyfish is a particularly docile, and sensitive fish. It is critical to consider which companions, and feeding strategies to include when keeping the Pearlscale Butterflyfish.

Aquarium Diet (Corallivorous): The Pearlscale Butterflyfish (Chaetodon xanthurus) is naturally an omnivore, primarily preying upon benthal (bottom dwelling) invertebrates such as coral, mussels, and crustaceans. It is often ideal to provide a balanced diet for omnivorous Butterflyfish containing an algae, such as Spirulina, as well. It is important to have an established culture of copepods, or amphipods before introducing the Pearlscale Butterflyfish. The Pearlscale Butterflyfish may also be utilized as a biological control for aquarium pests such as Aiptasia, and Bristleworm.