Chaetodon decussatus   Cuvier,  1829 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: Max length 20.0 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Color: Five or six diagonal lines extending from upper part of head to base of dorsal spines; 11 to 12 similar lines extending at right angles from last of previous lines towards anal fin; upper lip and adjacent part of snout dusky; dorsal and anal fins, caudal peduncle, and adjacent of body black; yellow streak in anal fin.

Body elevated, strongly compressed. Snout moderate to short, 3.0 to 4.0 times in head. Mouth small; teeth brush-like. Dorsal fin with 13 spines and 24 or 25 soft rays. Anal fin with 3 spines and 20 or 21 soft rays. Lateral line 36 to 41.

Dioecious, external fertilization. Form pairs during breeding. Oviparous.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Chaetodon decussatus Cuvier, 1831
Chaetodon pictus (nec Forsskal) Day, 1875
Chaetodon decussatus Cuvier, 1829
(Senior synonym)
Chaetodon vagabundus jordani Ahl, 1923
(Junior synonym)

Common Name (s)
• Indian Vagabond Butterflyfish (English)
• Black Finned Vagabond (English)
• Chand (Marathi)
• Pahnoodah
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Excellent aquarium fish.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Rocky
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Algae and coral polyps


• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA (Record: 1984)
• Kerala INDIA (Record: 1984)
• Karnataka, Netrani Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Rao, DV and Devi, K (2004) A pictorial guide to butterfly and anemone fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands 76 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Andersson, K (2002) A Study of Coral Reef Fishes along a Gradient of Disturbance in the Langkawi Archipelago, Malaysia Uppsala Universitet 19725
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Thomas, S; Sreeram, MP; Kakati, VS; Manisseri, MK and George, RM (2011) Coral fish diversity in Netrani waters off Murudeshwar Karnataka, south India Indian journal of fisheries CMFRI 58(1) 45-51 Available at -
  • Varghese, M; Manisseri, MK; Ramamurthy, N; Geetha, PM; Thomas, VJ and Gandhi, A (2011) Coral reef fishes of Gulf of Mannar, S.E of India Fishing Chimes CMFRI 31(1) 38-40 Available at - NIO, Goa

Page last updated on:2011-06-07

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