Butterflies of the Sea
The Ornate Butterflyfish is considered one of the most unique and beautiful inhabitants of Hawaii tropical reefs and worldwide. This easily recognizable fish is found in coral reefs where the butterflyfish feeds on live coral polyps. Growing to about six inches in length, the Ornate Butterflyfish sports six diagonal yellow stripes on the sides of its cream-colored body with black and yellow bars running across its face and a sophisticated black trim that outlines the edges of its body. Stealthily snorkel over coral heads and you may spot cautious juveniles, petite replicas of the adult fish, darting quickly in and out of the coral where they hide from predators. Typically, young Ornates swim solo while adults are usually seen in pairs, having found their mates once they reach breeding age. Classified as an Indo-Pacific species, Ornates are most commonly found in the Central and Western Pacific, stretching from Hawaii to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Take the plunge and check out all the wonders of Hawaii’s undersea world.