Butterflyfish mostly range from 12 to 22 cm (4. 7 to 8. 7 in) in length. The largest species, the lined butterflyfish and the saddle butterflyfish, C. ephippium, grow to 30 cm (12 in). The common name references the brightly coloured and strikingly patterned bodies of many species, bearing shades of black, white, blue, red, orange, and yellow. Other species are dull in colour. Many have eyespots on their flanks and dark bands across their eyes, not unlike the patterns seen on butterfly wings. Their deep, laterally narrow bodies are easily noticed through the profusion of reef life. The conspicuous coloration of butterflyfish may be intended for interspecies communication. Butterflyfish have uninterrupted dorsal fins with tail fins that may be rounded or truncated, but are never forked.
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