Class: Actinopterygii = Osteichthyes (Ray-Finned or Bony Fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-Likes)
Family: Chaetodontidae (Butterflyfishes)
Members of this family do not bear a sharp spine on the lower posterior corner of the preopercle. The absense of this spine distinguishes and separates them from their Angelfish Family Pomacanthidae relatives, which have this spine.
Genera of the Butterflyfish Family:
- Genus Chaetodon, which is the largest group.
- Genus Forcipiger, or Longnose species.
- Genus Heniochus, or Bannerfishes.
- As well as other valid genera or synonym names, such as Hemitaurichthys, Prognathodes, and Chelmon.
They primarily have oval-shaped, deep and greatly compressed bodies.
The dorsal fin is continuous along the back and not divided between the anterior spinous part and the spineless posterior portion.
The tail may be rounded, truncated, or emarginated on its posterior border, but is never forked.