Day Shift

Long-nosed Butterfly FishLong-nosed Butterflyfish and Forceps Butterflyfish
Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Subphylum: Vertebrata Class: Osteichthys Family: Chaetodontidae Genus: Forcipiger Species: longirostris & flavissimus
Scientific name: Forcipiger longirostris & F. flavissimus
Common name: Long-nosed Butterflyfish and Forceps Butterflyfish 
Hawaiian name:Lau wiliwili nukunuku oi'oi

There are two species of long-nosed butterfly fish in Hawaii that are very similar to one another. Forcipiger flavissimus has a shorter rostrum (“beak”) than F. longirostris. The primary difference between these species is that the measurement from nose tip to eye in the long-nose butterfly fish is three times (3X) as long as the measurement from the eye is to the back of the operculum where the scales become yellow. (The other species F. flavissimus is approximately 2.5X the distance.) The Forceps butterflyfish also comes in a rarer, darker, color form that varies from dark yellow to deep brown.

Forceps butterfly fish may form monogamous pairs and live in relatively shallow regions of the reef, sometime associating with other pairs and also with feeding parties.

Forceps butterfly fish have sharp binocular vision with which to probe between the corals. Often they can be seen bobbing along sandy seafloors beaks pointing at the seafloor snapping up crustaceans and worms.

[Back to Reef Species Guide]