Butterflyfish - Threadfin

Threadfin Butterflyfish - Small

Threadfin Butterflyfish

Threadfin Butterflyfish - Medium


Yellow Longnose Butterflyfish - Medium

Threadfin Butterflyfish - Small

Chaetodon Auriga

The Threadfin Butterflyfish is a hardy species that is popular with aquarist and suitable for beginners.

Availability: Out of stock

Threadfin Butterflyfish


The Threadfin Butterflyfish has a peaceful temperament and is quite shy, only getting aggressive with conspecifics and other fish of a similar color or size.

This species has distinctive coloring, white at the front and bright yellow at the rear with a black stripe over its eye. The usual lifespan for a Threadfin Butterflyfish is around 5 years.

Threadfin Butterflyfish are hardy fish and quite resilient to disease if the aquarium is maintained properly.

There isn’t a lot of information about captive breeding, but in the wild, they are pelagic spawners. Eggs are released into the planktonic water column and remain floating with the currents until hatching.

The natural habitat for Threadfin Butterflyfish is in tropical areas, typically lagoons and reef flats or slopes. They tend to be found where there is plenty of coral, occasionally venturing into sparser habitats. After reaching maturity an adult can grow to a length of 8 inches (20.3 cm).


It is native to the Indo-Pacific region, taking in Eastern and Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Southern Japan, Fiji, and Hawaii.

Tank Recommendations for the Threadfin Butterflyfish

This species does need a large tank with plenty of open water space for it to swim around and so we recommend a tank of at least 125 gallons (473 liters).

It is important to create an environment with plenty of rocks, rubble, and hiding places. However, even though their natural habitat is around reefs, they are not reef-safe in an aquarium. Corals will get nibbled and crustaceans will be eaten if a Threadfin Butterflyfish is introduced.

Threadfin Butterflyfish should be kept in a Fish Only With Live Rock (FOWLR) tank as they are not reef safe.

Suitable Tank Buddies

The Threadfin Butterflyfish is peaceful and generally ignores most other tank buddies, apart from any relative of similar-looking species.

Crustaceans, Anemones, and Corals are not safe if housed in the same tank as they can be eaten.

Usually Compatible

Threadfin Butterflyfish can be a house with smaller non-aggressive fish such as Gobies, Dartfish, and Fairy Wrasse. Semi-aggressive fish such as Clownfish, Anthias, and Dwarf Angels are also suitable.

Sometime Compatible

Monitor the tank if housing butterflyfish with large semi-aggressive, and aggressive fish such as Dottybacks, Damselfish, Tangs, Large Angels, and fish only Wrasse. Also, be careful with slow swimmers and eaters such as Seahorses or Pipefish.

Rarely Compatible

Avoid housing Threadfin Butterflyfish with invertebrates and corals. Also avoid large aggressive predators such as Lions/Scorpions, Groupers, and Sharks/Rays.

The Threadfin Butterflyfish is great for beginners and can be one of the highlights of your aquarium.

Feeding Your Threadfin Butterflyfish

Threadfin Butterflyfish are omnivores. A suitable diet should include plenty of meaty foods such as mysis shrimp, crustaceans, and fish. Frozen marine preparations are also recommended. Greens such as spirulina and nori help balance the diet, as well as formula foods and preparations. It is advised to feed adults 2 times per day and juveniles 4 times per day.

More Information
Scientific Name Chaetodon Auriga
Care Level Easy
Common Names Threadfin Butterflyfish, Auriga Butterflyfish, Cross-stripe Butterfly, Diagonal Butterlyfish and Whip Butterflyfish
Diet Omnivore
Fish Family Chaetodontidae
Lifespan (years) 5
Max. Length (cm) 20
Min. Tank Volume (l) 473
Origin Indo-Pacific region, Eastern and Southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Southern Japan, Fiji, and Hawaii
Reef Safe No
Sociability Peaceful
Venomous No
Water Conditions 22-25° C, dKH 8-12, pH 8.2-8.4, sg 1.021-1.023
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