The Masked or Bluecheek Butterflyfish is one of the most vibrant of the family, that yellow is simply stunning! Here’s a little more about them and some images of them in the wild.Chaetodon semilarvatus is classed as a Red Sea Endemic, though Fishbase lists it as being found in the Gulf of Aden and into the Western Indian Ocean.
It is one of the most regularly photographed fish in the region, as it allows divers to come quite close before it turns tail and swims away. Like many butterflyfish, it will adopt a cautious body posture to make itself appear as small a target as possible. This explains why many photos of the fish show it slightly tail on.
The fish also makes such a great photography subject due to the contrast you get between the vibrant yellow of the fish and the blue background of the sea.
The fish is usually seen in pairs and often seen sheltering under coral heads – do an image search and you’ll confirm this for yourself. However, on occasion the fish aggregate in huge and quite spectacular shoals which brings fish together for spawning.