Yellow Longnose Butterfly

Yellow Longnose Butterfly

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The Yellow Longnose Butterfly (Forcipiger flavissimus), or also known as the Forceps Fish, can be found among the reefs of the Indo-Pacific, coast of Australia, and the Philippines. It has a long snout that resembles a pair of needle nose pliers, for picking food out of crevices and between coral heads. They are best kept in "fish only" aquariums. Reaching a maximum size of 9 inches, the Longnose Butterflyfish will need a well established aquarium and does best if kept in a 125 gallon or larger aquarium, with plenty of space to swim.

These butterflyfish spend most of their time near exposed seaward reefs where there is lots of coral growth, rocky caves, and ledges, and they are also found in lagoon reefs. They inhabit depths from between 3 to 476 feet with environments that include everything from shallow flats to very deep walls. They are usually seen in pairs though sometimes seen in small groups of as many as five individuals, and occasionally they are seen alone.

The Longnose Butterflyfish has a disc-like shaped body that is laterally compressed and it has a long protruding snout tipped with a small mouth. The dorsal fin is continuous and it has a rounded tail fin. This fish has a bright yellow body as well as yellow dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins. There is a black bar over the nape covering the upper half of the eyes, giving a mask-like appearance. The rear edge of the dorsal and anal fins can be edged in blue and there is a prominent eye-spot on the anal fin just below the caudal peduncle. The pectoral and caudal fins are transparent.

Yellow longnose butterflyfish are a peaceful fish. It can be kept with some of the other butterflyfish but will be aggressive towards other members of its own kind, as well as other butterflyfish in its same genus.

It does better with other non-aggressive fish. Smaller non-aggressive fishes like cardinalfish, gobies, tilefish, fairy basslets, fairy and flasher wrasses are good candidates as tank mates. Small but very territorial fishes like dottybacks should be avoided. Also, fish like bass or scorpionfish, even if they are small enough, should be avoided.

Yellow longnose butterflyfish are omnivorous but are primarily meat eaters. It feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates including stony coral polyps and soft coral polyps as well as small animal prey including crustaceans.