Butterflyfish, Family Chaetodontidae (lauhau in Hawiian)

Although there are 25 species of Butterflyfish on Maui, this album reflects my experience as a snorkeler/underwater photographer on Maui.  Some of these fish are common enough to be seen at most snorkel sites, and a few are rarely seen.  They are among the most beautiful fish and certainly one of the most recognizable.  A link to the IUCN Red List is provided for each gallery.  It provides a fairly comprehensive explanation of their range, feeding habits, ecological threats and diversity.  Apparently, none of the butterflyfish captured here are considered a species at risk, but in parts of the world where coral loss has been significant, their numbers have visibly dropped.  With severe bleaching events hitting Maui for two years in a row (2014/15), the population of butterflyfish will be watched closely.

For a more comprehensive list, see Keoki Stender’s Marinelifephotography website.  It covers a broader area of the Hawai’ian Islands from a diver and snorkeler’s perspective.