Microsatellite markers were developed for the coral reef fish Chaetodon vagabundus using shotgun pyrosequencing. As threats to coral reefs intensify, information on larval connectivity is of increasing value for efficient conservation planning. Here, 11 novel microsatellites were characterized for 192 individuals from Papua New Guinea. The number of alleles per locus ranged from 7 to 32, while observed and expected heterozygosity values varied from 0.214 to 0.903. These markers will be used to study population structure and larval connectivity of this iconic coral reef fish in coral reefs across the Indo-Pacific.