Prognathodes aya

Common Name

Bank Butterflyfish

Year Described

Jordan, 1886


Dorsal Fin: XIII, 18-19
Anal Fin: III, 15-16
Pectoral Fin: 14-15
Lateral Line Scales: ~26

Body oval and highly compressed. Body asymmetrical with a more rounded upper profile and a more flattened lower profile. Nape strongly concave. Snout long with a medium sized terminal mouth. Slender teeth in jaws in several rows. Preopercular edge lacks spines. Dorsal spines enlarged with deep notches in between spines. Soft dorsal and anal fin rounded. Third and second anal spine about equal in size. Caudal fin evenly rounded to truncate. Pelvic fins thin and reach anus. Pectoral fin under angle of opercle. Lateral line arched in front but incomplete. Axillary scale present. Body, head, and most of median fins scaled.


Body whitish to pale yellow, grading to white on the belly. Two bands present: one from the nape through the eye to lower jaw and the second oblique and thick from the fourth dorsal spine to the base of the anal fin. Bands are edged with white. Dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins yellow. Spines of fins white. Tail and edge of soft dorsal clear.


Maximum size to 15cm SL.


A deep reef species found between 20-167m. Found mostly on rocky substrates and on walls.


North Carolina to Florida and the entire Gulf of Mexico to the Yucatan Peninsula. Absent from the islands and south of the Mexican border.


McEachran, J.D. and J.D. Fechhelm. 2005. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico. Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. University of Texas Press, Austin. i-viii +1-1004.