Weibeli Butterfly Fish

The Weibeli Butterfly Fish is another of the great variety of marine life that Koh Tao diving has for all levels of divers. From those learning to dive, to experienced fun divers, Koh Tao has something to offer


The butterfly fish are part of the Chaetodontidae family of fish that also include bannerfish and coralfish.  The Weibeli Butterfly Fish look similar to angelfish but smaller and don’t have spines at the gill covers.  The body is oval, deep, and strongly compressed.  The head length is similar to its head height, without prominent spines.  The small protractile mouth has brush-like teeth in the jaws.  The body is yellow but can appear darker and with diagonal brown stripes on the sides; a prominently broad black bar through the eye with a white bar just behind it; a black isolated spot is on the forehead. The dorsal, caudal, anal, and pelvic fins are yellow; a vertical dark band on the caudal fin equal in width to pupil diameter.  They range in size from 12 to 22 cm in length.  Small details that you learn to recognize as your diving experience grows, studying the Fish Identification course can really help you look for the small details that differentiate fish species.
Weibeli butterfly fish

Where Can You Find It?

They are a fairly common sighting around the shallow dive sites here where they are normally found in pairs, being active during the day and in waters less than 18m deep.  They can hide from predators by swimming between rocks and corals.  Seeing multiple pairs is a good indicator of a healthy reef.  These can be found at Japanese Gardens, White Rock, and Twins, normally in the shallow, passed the no-boat line.
a diver swimming passed Weibeli butterfly fish

What Do They Do?

Butterfly fish family are pelagic or open water spawners, they release many buoyant eggs into the water which become part of the plankton, floating with the currents until they hatch into fish fry.  They then go through a tholichthys stage where the body is covered in large bony plates extending from the head.  As they grow older they lose these bony plates.

A pair of Weibeli butterfly fish

Want To Learn More About Marine Life On Koh Tao?

So if you are interested in learning about Koh Tao marine life you can study the Fish Identification or Marine Ecology courses online.  Or hit the links below.

Want To Know More Koh Tao Diving?

If you are interested in Koh Tao diving contact us and you can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below:

Koh Tao Diving Courses

What Other Scuba Certifications Can I Get On Koh Tao?

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