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Trigger Fish

August 10, 2021

Trigger Fish

Triggerfish belongs to the family  Balistidae. Triggerfish are bright-colored ill-tempered fishes with about 40 species. 


They are compressed fish with an oval shape. They have powerful jaws adapted for crushing shells. They have bright-colored spotted bodies. Small eyes are present at the top of the head. Their length is between 20 and 50 cm. 

The caudal fin is sickle-shaped and helps the fish escape from predators. The dorsal and the anal fin provide the slow motion that comprises the primary mode of locomotion. 


They are mostly aquarium trade fishes but also oceanic triggerfish. They inhabited the tropical and subtropical oceans in the world. The Indo-Pacific is rich with most species of triggerfish.

They are primarily present in shallow and coastal habitats like coral reefs. 

Species of Triggerfish:

Some species of triggerfish are given below.

  • Clown triggerfish

  • Grey triggerfish

  • Lagoon triggerfish

  • Queen triggerfish

  • Redtoothed triggerfish

  • Reef triggerfish

  • Starry triggerfish

Diet of Triggerfish:

The diet of triggerfish in the zone in which they live. The fish in the benthic area feeds on echinoderms, mollusks, and crustaceans. 

The fish in the pelagic zone depend upon algae, sea uranchis, mollusks, echinoderms. Some triggerfish eat the plankton and other small fishes. They also eat crabs, shrimp, etc.

Life Cycle and Spawning Behavior:

The fish lay eggs in a small hole in the sea bottom. Some pieces of eggs are spawned in the morning and hatch after sunset. Their spawning activity is related to tides and the lunar cycle. 

In relation to tides, eggs are seen 1–5 days before the spring tide and 2–6 days before the full moon, and 3–5 days before the new moon, in relation to the lunar cycle. 

Eggs of triggerfish are tiny, and both male and female triggerfish protect the fertilized eggs. 

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