Dot Dash Butterfly

Last time this was in stock, it was £33.00


Dot Dash Butterfly, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus

  • Common Name: Dot Dash Butterfly
  • Latin name: Chaetodon punctatofasciatus
  • Synonyms: None
  • Distribution: naturally occurring in the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, the Maldives, and the Andaman Sea. It can be found in the waters around Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and northern Australia.
  • Max size: about 6 inches (15 centimetres) in length.
  • Temperature range: The ideal temperature range for the Dot Dash Butterfly is between 75°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C).
  • pH Range: 8.1 to 8.4.
  • KH Range: maintained between 8 and 12 dKH.
  • Care level: moderate to difficult. It requires specific water conditions and a well-established aquarium.
  • Lighting Preference: prefers moderate to high lighting in the aquarium.
  • Preferred food: The Dot Dash Butterfly is primarily a herbivorous fish that feeds on various types of algae, including filamentous and macroalgae. It also consumes small invertebrates and zooplankton.
  • Behaviour: The Dot Dash Butterfly is generally peaceful but can become territorial towards other butterflyfish or similarly shaped fish. It is known to be a bit on the delicate side and may be prone to stress and disease if not provided with proper care.
  • Suitable for reef tanks: The Dot Dash Butterfly can be kept in a reef tank, but caution should be exercised when choosing tank mates, as it may nip at or eat certain types of corals, especially soft and stony corals.
  • Interesting Facts:
  • the Dot Dash Butterfly has a long snout that allows it to reach into crevices and feed on coral polyps and other food sources.

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LIVESTOCK = Fish, Critters and Corals

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The Dot Dash Butterfly, scientifically known as Chaetodon punctatofasciatus, showcases a striking and vibrant colouration. It has a maximum size of around 6 inches (15 cm) in length. The body of this butterflyfish is elongated and laterally compressed, with a rounded dorsal and anal fin. Its body is predominantly white, adorned with a pattern of irregular black dots and dashes across the entire body, giving it its distinctive appearance. The fins are generally translucent, with delicate markings.

Natural Habitat:

The Dot Dash Butterfly is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. It inhabits coral reefs, lagoons, and outer reef slopes, typically found in areas with abundant coral growth. These fish are most commonly seen in depths ranging from 10 to 50 feet (3 to 15 meters). They prefer areas with moderate water flow and ample hiding spots among coral formations.

Keeping Dot Dash Butterfly Healthy:

The Dot Dash Butterfly requires proper care to ensure its health and well-being. It is considered moderately difficult to keep, requiring a well-established and mature aquarium with stable water conditions. A tank size of at least 50 gallons (190 litres) is recommended to provide ample swimming space. The water temperature should be maintained between 75°F and 82°F (24°C and 28°C), with a pH range of 8.1 to 8.4 and a carbonate hardness (KH) of 8 to 12 dKH. Regular monitoring of water parameters and routine water changes are crucial for maintaining optimal conditions.

Special Requirements and Feeding:

The Dot Dash Butterfly has a specialized diet consisting mainly of coral polyps and other small invertebrates found in the wild. In captivity, it can be challenging to replicate their natural diet. Offering a varied diet is essential, including a mix of high-quality marine-based flakes, pellets, frozen foods such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp, and live or frozen coral polyps if available. It is recommended to feed small portions multiple times a day to mimic their natural feeding behaviour.

How Many Should I Keep?

It is generally recommended to keep the Dot Dash Butterfly as a solitary fish or in a mated pair. They can become territorial, especially in smaller tanks, so providing ample swimming space and hiding spots is crucial.

Lighting Preference:

Dot Dash Butterflies thrive in aquariums with moderate to high lighting. Proper lighting helps enhance their vibrant colours and promotes the growth of symbiotic zooxanthellae within their bodies.

Suitable Tank Mates:

When selecting tank mates for the Dot Dash Butterfly, it is important to consider their compatibility. They may exhibit aggression towards other butterflyfish or similar-shaped fish. Suitable tank mates include peaceful reef fish, such as small tangs, anthias, gobies, and other non-aggressive species. Care should be taken to avoid aggressive or territorial fish that may intimidate or harass the butterflyfish.

Reproduction in the Wild:

The reproductive process of the Dot Dash Butterfly begins with the formation of pairs or small groups during the breeding season. These pairs or groups engage in courtship rituals that involve intricate swimming patterns, fin displays, and other visual cues to attract potential mates. These displays not only serve to signal reproductive readiness but also help establish dominance hierarchies among individuals.

Once a suitable partner is chosen, the courtship behaviour intensifies, with increased chasing, nipping, and fin touching. This behaviour helps strengthen the bond between the pair and prepares them for spawning. Spawning usually occurs in open water above the reef or near coral heads.

During spawning, the male and female Dot Dash Butterflies release their eggs and sperm into the water column simultaneously. This synchronized release increases the chances of successful fertilization. The buoyant eggs are then carried away by the ocean currents, drifting freely in the water.

The fertilized eggs hatch into larvae known as “planktonic fry.” These larvae possess a long, extended dorsal fin and large pectoral fins, which aid in their dispersal and survival in the open water. The fry go through several developmental stages, gradually transforming into juvenile fish.

Breeding Chaetodon punctatofasciatus:

  1. Set up:

Breeding the Dot Dash Butterfly in a home aquarium is a challenging task and is typically not common. To encourage breeding, a well-maintained and spacious aquarium with suitable hiding spots and live rock is necessary. The water parameters should be consistent with the species’ requirements, including a temperature range of 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C), a pH range of 8.1 to 8.4, and a carbonate hardness (KH) of 8 to 12 dKH.

  1. Courtship/Spawning:

Courtship and spawning behaviours of the Dot Dash Butterfly in captivity are not extensively documented. In the wild, these fish engage in elaborate courtship rituals, involving chasing, fin displays, and other behaviours to attract a mate. Once a suitable partner is chosen, they engage in spawning, releasing eggs and sperm into the water column.

  1. Rearing:

Rearing Dot Dash Butterfly larvae in a home aquarium is highly challenging and requires specialized equipment and knowledge. The eggs are typically buoyant and pelagic, drifting with the ocean currents. Providing a dedicated rearing tank with appropriate water flow, filtration, and food sources such as phytoplankton and zooplankton is crucial for the survival and development of the larvae. Continuous monitoring and maintenance of water parameters are essential for their successful rearing.

Sexual Dimorphism:

The Dot Dash Butterfly does not exhibit significant sexual dimorphism, meaning there are no distinct visual differences between males and females in terms of coloration or size.


The Dot Dash Butterfly, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus, is naturally distributed in the Indo-Pacific region, including areas such as the Red Sea, the Maldives, Indonesia, and the Philippines. It is not typically available as a captive-bred or line-bred strain. The original wild fish can be found in various coral reef habitats within its natural range.


The Dot Dash Butterfly, Chaetodon punctatofasciatus, is a captivating and colourful species that requires specific care and conditions to thrive in a home aquarium. With its striking appearance and unique behaviours, it can be a rewarding addition to a well-maintained reef tank. However, their delicate nature and specialized feeding requirements make them a challenging species to care for, requiring an experienced aquarist’s attention and dedication. By providing suitable habitat, proper nutrition, and stable water conditions, enthusiasts can enjoy the beauty and grace of the Dot Dash Butterfly in their own aquarium.


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Dry Goods Delivery.

The store has provided information regarding their order dispatch and estimated delivery times. Here are the key details:

  1. Dispatch Timeframe: Orders placed before 2pm will be dispatched on the same day. Orders placed after 2pm will be dispatched on the next working day.
  2. Delivery Date and Time Guarantee: While the store aims to dispatch orders promptly, they cannot guarantee a specific delivery date and time. As the delivery process relies on couriers, there may be factors beyond their control that could affect the delivery timeframe.
  3. 1st Class Mail: For orders sent via 1st Class mail, the aim is to have them delivered on the next working day after dispatch.
  4. 2nd Class Mail: Orders sent via 2nd Class mail typically take approximately 2-3 working days for delivery after dispatch.
  5. APC Next Day Delivery: APC Next Day delivery is available for UK mainland postcodes. It is usually delivered on the next working day after dispatch. However, please note that items being delivered to more remote areas may require additional time for delivery.

It’s important to keep in mind that while the store strives to provide efficient delivery services, unforeseen circumstances or external factors could potentially impact delivery times. For further details or specific inquiries about delivery, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Livestock Delivery.

The store maintains specific policies regarding the delivery of livestock. Here are the key points:

  1. Licensed Livestock Courier: The store exclusively uses a licensed livestock courier for shipping fish and coral. This approach is chosen to ensure responsible and ethical transportation of the livestock.
  2. Livestock Shipping Fee: The livestock shipping fee charged to customers of £19.99 does not cover the true cost, and therefore, there is a minimum spend requirement of £30.00 before the option for livestock shipping becomes available.
  3. Pre-Arranged Delivery: The store never ships livestock without first arranging a suitable delivery day. Before dispatching the livestock, the store must confirm the agreed-upon delivery day with the customer.
  4. Saturday Delivery Confirmation: Customers who choose Saturday delivery must have their availability confirmed for the upcoming Saturday before the store sends out the livestock. This confirmation ensures that the livestock can be received promptly.
  5. Failure to wait for livestock: Not waiting for livestock, even if there is a reasonable delay, or cancelling an order after it has been dispatched will lead to you incurring charges for an emergency return to the base. Additionally, any losses of livestock will also be charged to you. Please be aware that the items you are ordering are living creatures – livestock. We kindly ask that you refrain from ordering livestock if you are unable to accommodate the possibility of a delayed delivery.

    These terms and conditions are a fundamental aspect of our policy. Our primary goal is to dissuade individuals who could react negatively to a delayed delivery and subsequently request order cancellations. It is of utmost importance to underscore that your order pertains to living creatures, not mere inanimate objects. In the event of an occasional delay, it is crucial that you respond in a rational and responsible manner, taking into account the welfare of the livestock. We kindly request that you refrain from placing an order for livestock if you tend to react strongly to such situations. By proceeding with the order of livestock, you indicate your acceptance and agreement to abide by these specified terms and conditions.

  6. Signature Requirement: Livestock deliveries require a signature upon receipt and cannot be left in a safe location. This precaution ensures proper handling and the well-being of the livestock.
  7. Geographic Restrictions: The courier has strict geographic restrictions for livestock deliveries. Unfortunately, deliveries to Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Isles of Scilly, Channel Islands, and certain Scottish offshore postcodes may not be possible. Customers are encouraged to contact the store via email to confirm if livestock delivery is available in their area.
  8. Minimum Order Value and Order Cancellations: The store has a minimum order value of £30 for livestock shipping. Additionally, the store reserves the right to cancel orders that are deemed high-risk or involve a high number of single tropical freshwater fish species.

It is essential for customers to familiarize themselves with these policies before making a purchase. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or reach out to the store directly for clarification.

Livestock Geographical Exemptions.

The store has specific geographical exemptions for livestock deliveries. Here is a list of the areas and postcodes where livestock delivery is not available:

  1. Islands: Livestock cannot be delivered to the Shetlands, Channel Islands, and Isle of Man.
  2. Postcodes: Livestock delivery is not available to the following postcodes:
  • AB30 to AB39, AB41 to AB45, AB51 to AB56
  • DD8 to DD10
  • BT all
  • DG3 to DG9, DG12 to DG14
  • KA18 to KA19, KA26, KA29 to KA30
  • HS all
  • IM all
  • JE all
  • ZE all
  • KW15 to KW17
  • TD9
  • FK17 to FK21
  • GY all
  • KA26, to KA28
  • PA20 to PA38, PA41 to PA49, PA60 to PA61, PA76 to PA78
  • TR21, to TR25
  • PH3 to PH26, PH30 to PH44
  • IV all

Customers residing in these areas should be aware that livestock delivery is not available to their location.

We can ship livestock to the Isle of Wight, this area is subject to a surcharge.

For further information or specific inquiries about livestock delivery to a particular area, customers are advised to contact the store directly for clarification.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the right to cancel an order within 14 working days of receiving the goods. To initiate the cancellation, the goods must be returned to the store in new and unused condition, adhering to their Returns Policy.

Important points regarding the return process are as follows:

  1. Return Condition: The goods must be returned in new and unused condition, as originally received. It is important to ensure that the goods are in the same condition as when they were sent out.
  2. Return Timeframe: The goods must be received by the store within 21 days of notifying them about the cancellation. During this time, customers are responsible for any loss or damage that may occur during the return shipping process.
  3. Refund Process: Once the store receives the goods in new and unused condition, they will initiate the refund process. The purchase price will be refunded to the customer.
  4. Return Condition Inspection: If the returned goods arrive in a condition that is less than what they were sent out in, the store reserves the right to return the goods to the customer, and no refund will be processed.

It is essential for customers to carefully review the store’s Returns Policy and follow the specified procedures to ensure a smooth and successful return and refund process. For more detailed information or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s return policy, the following guidelines should be followed for returning goods:

  1. Use Returns Form: Customers need to use the store’s provided returns form to initiate the return process. This form helps the store acknowledge that the goods are being sent back.
  2. Return for Testing: If the goods are being returned for testing, the customer is responsible for covering the return shipping expenses.
  3. Refund of Postage Fees: The store will only refund postage fees if the order arrives damaged or becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of purchase. Proof of posting is important, and customers should ensure the goods are well-packed and obtain proof of posting as the goods remain their responsibility until received by the store.
  4. Refund of Postage Costs for Replacement: If goods are being returned within 7 days of purchase under the Replacement Policy, the store can refund postage costs. However, the customer needs to agree on a delivery service with the store in advance, and only standard or tracked shipping fees will be refunded. The store cannot refund the cost of any special delivery service.
  5. Non-Refundable Postage: Postage costs for goods returned for any other reason than those mentioned above are non-refundable. The store reserves the right to deduct the original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Mistaken Purchases: If a customer has made a mistake in their purchase, they need to return the goods to the store. The customer is responsible for the return shipping costs in such cases.

It is important for customers to carefully follow the store’s return procedures and terms and conditions. For further details or specific inquiries, customers should refer to the store’s website or contact the store directly.


If customers receive faulty goods, the following guidelines apply according to the store’s policy:

  1. Notification of Faulty Goods: Customers must notify the store within 7 working days if they receive faulty goods. This notification should be made as soon as possible.
  2. Replacement Parts: If possible, the store will dispatch replacement parts for the faulty goods.
  3. Return of Goods: If replacement parts are not possible, the store may request customers to return the faulty goods in accordance with their Returns Policy. The specific return procedures and conditions should be followed.
  4. Verification of Damage: Once the store receives the returned goods, they will verify the damage. If the damage is confirmed, the store will supply the required replacements.
  5. Return Postage Costs: If the goods returned to the store are found to be in good working order, the store is not able to refund the return postage costs. Additionally, the store reserves the right to deduct their original postage cost from any applicable refund.
  6. Consequential Loss or Damage: The store cannot take responsibility for any consequential loss or damage that arises directly or indirectly from the goods supplied.

Customers should carefully review and adhere to the store’s Returns Policy and procedures for returning faulty goods. For further clarification or specific inquiries, customers should consult the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.

Manufacturer’s Guarantees

The store works in collaboration with manufacturers to ensure that their guarantees are honored, and they make their best efforts to resolve issues within the warranty period. The following guidelines apply to refunds and replacements:

  1. Postage Costs under Manufacturer’s Guarantee: Postage costs can only be refunded if the goods are returned to the store within 7 days of the original purchase, as per the manufacturer’s guarantee.
  2. Refund of Postage Costs for Faulty Goods: The store will refund postage costs for guarantee/warranty returns only if the product becomes faulty within the first 4 weeks of receipt.
  3. Replacements with Manufacturer Authorization: Replacements, whether parts or goods, can only be offered when authorized by the manufacturer. Customers should contact the store for further guidance in such cases.
  4. Prior Approval for Returns: Goods should not be returned to the store without prior approval. Customers need to contact the store and obtain approval before returning any items.
  5. Replacement of Glass or Ceramic Items: Glass or ceramic items can only be replaced if the store is notified within 48 hours of receiving the delivery.
  6. Replacement of Glass Bulbs/Tubes: Glass bulbs or tubes can only be replaced if they become faulty within 14 days.

Customers should note and adhere to these guidelines to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution of any issues with their purchased items. For specific inquiries or further information, customers are advised to refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.


According to the store’s policy, customers have the following responsibilities regarding breakages:

  1. Checking Goods on Arrival: It is the customer’s responsibility to thoroughly check the goods upon arrival for any damage. This should be done before signing for the parcel. If the parcel appears damaged, it is advised not to sign for it.
  2. Reporting Breakages: Any breakages or damages must be reported to the store within 48 hours of receiving the goods. It is important to promptly notify the store to initiate the resolution process.

By carefully inspecting the goods upon arrival and reporting any breakages within the specified timeframe, customers can ensure that appropriate actions are taken to address the issue. For specific instructions on reporting breakages or further information, customers should refer to the store’s terms and conditions or contact the store directly.