An Introduction to the Butterfly Telescope Goldfish

“The Butterfly Tail … often flutters its lovely tail fins like a girl in the flower of her youth taking a leisurely stroll- all innocence, vitality, and not a hint of worry or sadness.  Words simply cannot do it justice.”
-Louise Chan

The butterfly telescope is most easily recognized by its large, unforked caudal fins that resemble the outstretched wings of a butterfly when viewed from above. When the fish is at rest, the tail should spread out on a horizontal plane, forming a butterfly shape. In the ideal fish, the tail tips should begin to wrap around toward the fish’s head somewhat similar to that of a tosakin. The two caudal fins should be split half-way or more, and each tail should have little to no fork in-between the lobes. The tail should be long, but not so long that it loses the overall butterfly appearance.

The dorsal fin should be held upright. The leading ray on the dorsal fin should come up straight, and the following rays should curve slightly backward. The telescopic eyes can be globe eyes, dome eyes, flat eyes, or anything in-between. The fish’s body should be deep and round, and some fish have a slight hint of the ryukin-like hump starting behind the head. Traditionally, these fish are meant to be top-view fish (and many would argue the tail is best appreciated this way), but they are gaining popularity as side-view fish as well. The butterfly telescope is found in many different color types including: panda, black, white, purple, lavender, calico, red/white, red, kirin, metallic calico, and sakura. Since more traditional color types like red, red/white, and black have been established for longer, they tend to produce healthier and more robust fish. So for beginners wanting to try butterfly telescopes, it’s a good idea to stick to the more traditional color types at first.

I have found these fish very rewarding to keep because they generally have very sweet and laid-back personalities. A few can be feisty, but for the most part, they are docile and can easily be trained to hand-feed.

Common Telescope Eye Types

Top-view Photos of Eye Types
A calico butterfly with globe eyes.

A red butterfly with flat eyes.

A black butterfly with dome eyes.

Dia de los Muertos Goldfish Tank
I thought my goldfish should join in on the holiday fun! Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is
Read more.
Beginner Mistakes to Avoid | Dos and Don’ts
Do plenty of research before buying anyfish!  This will help you avoid many beginner mistakes and allow you toprovide a
Read more.
What Pet Stores Don’t Tell You About… Cycling
Now I don’t want to make it sound like all pet stores give bad information about fishkeeping, because some are
Read more.
Yujin Goldfish Gashapon Collection
Several months ago I discovered these goldfish gashapons and began collecting them!  Gashapons are Japanese capsule toys dispensed from coin
Read more.
Update on Luca, Felix, and Clover
My new ghost bristols have been getting all the attention lately, so I thought I’d take some time to do
Read more.
Callisto is Declining
Callisto came to live with me on November 10th, 2011.  From day one, she has always been a major surface-gulper. 
Read more.
How To Euthanize a Fish Humanely
Euthanizing our pet fish is obviously something none of us ever want to have to do, but sometimes it’s the
Read more.
Goldfish Growth and Changes Update
Here’s the most recent update: Butterfly Telescope Growth and Changes Today Luca weighs 47 grams, is 2.75″ in body length,
Read more.
Rest in Peace Callisto
Callisto was euthanized last weekend because of her ongoing and worsening health condition.  It was a tough decision to make,
Read more.
New Culling Nets
For my first spawn of ghost bristol fry, I’ve been making do with a regular aquarium net; the dark green
Read more.

One thought on “An Introduction to the Butterfly Telescope Goldfish

  1. Kelsa Gruban

    I have a fantail goldfish named Norman and his caudal fin is more of a V shape when viewed from the side, so not as triangular as the pictures you show here, However his caudal fins are connected at the top. So my question is does that make him a butterfly fantail? or a butterfly tail goldfish? what would I call that?

  2. nikoli

    Hi, Can you list some sites where I can buy some good butterfly tail? or any goldfish. thanks


    The calico looks like it has the dome eyes too.. according to the diagram anyway.

  4. hoàng trung dũng

    , , , , ,, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    The Iranians insist they have never worked on weapons and have turned down IAEA requests to visit sites where the agency suspects such work was going on, including Parchin, the military complex near Tehran where the agency believes explosives testing linked to setting off a nuclear charge was conducted.

  5. hoàng trung dũng

    While access is a key part of monitoring envisaged cuts on Tehran’s present nuclear activities, it is also important for the IAEA as it tries to kick-start nearly a decade of stalled attempts to probe allegations that Iran worked on nuclear arms. Washington says that Iran must cooperate with the IAEA’s probe as part of any overall deal before all sanctions on it are lifted.

    , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    friend is traveling wth 11/2in. fry, worried about ammonia. I suggested stop feeding. how long can they fast?

  7. Jenni

    Strategy in focal point and mirror fabricating has enhanced essentially finished the hundreds of years.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *