Prognathodes aculeatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk

Facts

Latin name Prognathodes aculeatus - (Poey, 1860)
Common name Longsnout butterflyfish
Family Chaetodontidae - Prognathodes
Origin The Mexican Golf, West Atlantic
Max length 10.0 cm (3.9")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume 300 l (79 gal)
Hardiness Hardy
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Often reef safe
Aggressiveness Mostly peaceful but might be aggressive towards similar species

Food

Maybee
  • Soft coral
  • Large polyp stone coral (LPS)
Recommended
  • Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Other invertebrates

Eats tubeworms

This species likes to eat tubeworms.

Can be a threat towards small crustaceans

This species can be a threat towards small crustaceans, e.g. small shrimp.

Can nibble at clams

This species sometimes nibbles at clams including Tridacna species.

Threat to sea urchin

This species likes to nibble at sea urchins.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

Thrive best on their own

These fish flourish better without other members of the same species in the aquarium.

Requires a varied diet

This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.

Personality

This species often has a fun and interesting personality.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

Family description (Chaetodontidae)

The Butterflyfish are known for their attractive patterns and colours. They are closely related to Angelfishs, but can always be distinguished, as they lack the spines on each side of the head of the Angelfish.

A smaller group of these fish will seek out primairily soft corals, like Zoanthus. A larger part of the species will target different types of LPS corals. Butterflyfish are also known to seek out anemones, tubeworms and bristleworms.

Therefore it is important to choose the correct species in relation to the corals wanted, if one desires to keep Butterflyfish in a coral-aquarium.
Bristleworms, tubeworms and other small invertebrates are also a part of the diet for many Butterflyfish.

It can be problematic, with many of these species, to get them eating in the beginning, but many of the species cannot resist live zooplankton or live mussels with crushed shells. Another option is to mimic their natural behaviour by stuffing their food into coral skeletons or stones.

They ignore most other fish and are generally peaceful, therefore multiple Butterflyfish will have no problem living together. One should however be cautious about keeping similar species together unless they are a couple.

As these fish can be difficult to acclimatize and get feeding, it is important to buy healthy fish, to avoid having to deal with more problems. Make sure to check that they do not have parasites or any visible infections.

There are some species that should not be kept in an a aquarium, as they are food specialists and will almost always refuse to eat replacement foods. It can be possible to breed some species, which will eat frozen foods. Otherwise the only way to keep food specialists is by feeding them their natural diet, which consists of live SPS or LPS corals for example.

FishBase

Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Western Atlantic: southern Florida and the western Gulf of Mexico to the West Indies-Caribbean region and Venezuela.
English common names Longsnout butterflyfish
Danish common names Langsnudet fanefisk
Spanish common names Mariposa, Isabelita corneta, Parche narizón

References and further reading

About references

Joe Oliver. 2014. Prognathodes: more than meets the Aya - Reef Builders - (English)
Bob Fenner. Butterflyfishes of the Genus Prognathodes - Wet Web Media - (English)

Scott W. Michael. 2004. Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 3) TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Bob Fenner. Butterflyfishes; Separating the Good Ones and Those You Don't Want - Wet Web Media - (English)
Collection of links to additional information - Wet Web Media - (English)
Tea Yi Kai. 2014. Reef Nuggets 2: Aquatic Lepidopterans for your reef (Revised edition) - Reef Builders - (English)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

eats feather duster worm, eats shrimp, eats tridacna, eats sea urchin, butterfly
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