African Butterfly

Save as favorite

Avg. Owner Satisfaction


(16 Reviews)

Species group:

Other common names: Butterflyfish; Freshwater Butterflyfish

Scientific name: Pantodon buchholzi

The basics:
The African butterfly is the only species in its family. True to thier name the African Butterfly is found in west Africa. This fish swims near the surface of the water and attacks food as it hits the surface. In the wild they eat bugs this way, in the aquarium it makes them a flight risk. They need secure lids so they don't escape. Floating food is a must and while most will eventually accept dried foods some may require the occasional cricket until they are trained to eat freeze dried krill or floating pellets.

The African Butterflyfish is exotic in appearance. It has a flat head and a broad span of pectoral fins that look like wings from above. The coloration is a marbled pattern of browns, and black. They have large mouths for eating bugs and tend to float on the surface most of day waiting for something to hit the waters surface.

4 inches

The African Butterfly is aggressive and predatory by nature. It appears peaceful floating at the surface but when a meal gets close will strike with lightning speed. Small fish that venture near the surface are at risk around the African Butterfly. Larger tank mates will be ignored.

African Butterflyfishes like still water, so tank with not much surface flow is preferred. Due to their size they need a minimum of 30 gallons. Tanks need to be kept covered as these fish tend to jump out.

77.00-82.00 °F



winglike fins, unusual addition, majestic body, Cool little oddball, oddball


predatory fish, main diet, jumpers, tight fitting lid, live bugs


insects, cricket feedings, small worms, surface

Member photos