Key West Butterflyfish

Banded Butterflyfish Foureye Butterflyfish

Key West snorkeling is an adventure and a thrilling experience. The underwater habitat is a sight to behold.The Banded Butterflyfish and Foureye butterflyfish are only two of the species encountered by a diver or snorkeler. They are among the most colorful and a maximum of only six inches in size as adults. Being quite shy, they will flee when approached. Found among tropical reefs around the world, their narrow disc-like colorful body shapes are easily recognizable. Other identifiable marks are the dark bands across their eyes and the dots on their flanks resembling a fake eye. This confuses a predator determined to attack the eyes of their prey.

With 114 butterflyfish species, they are found among the coral reef where they search for food by pecking at coral polyps and worms with their snouts and small sharp teeth. This specie usually travels alone until they find a partner. They then navigate as a pair and mate for life. The male actually wiggles his rear flank in front of a female to entice her to be his mate.

Butterflyfish are not captured for food. Their appeal is in the aquarium trade where their spectacular array of patterns and colors delight the homeowner.

As in other tropical climates, a Key West snorkel is a popular activity. To swim amid these beautiful fish species is a vacation highlight.