Clown triggerfish
Clown triggerfish

Clown triggerfish

Clown triggerfish

Clown triggerfish is a fish which is also known as bigspotted triggerfish and Balistoides conspicillum. These fishes are demersal marine fish belonging to the family Balistidae, or commonly called triggerfish.

It is a small sized fish which grows up to 50 cm. Its body is oval in shape and compressed laterally. Clown triggerfish has large head and represents approximately one third of the body length. The mouth is small, terminal and has strong teeth.

The background coloration is black. Half of the body has big white spots which are more or less round. The area around the first dorsal fin is crossed by yellowish sinuosities which draw like a network reminding the leopard’s patterns. There is a yellowish ring around the mouth, which is surrounded by another fin white ring. A white stripe ride the snout just under the eyes level. The second dorsal fin and the anal fin are white and underlined with a yellow line at their base. The caudal peduncle has a yellowish blotch on its top part and has three horizontal sets of spiny scales. The caudal fin is yellowish in its center and has black margin. Juveniles have a black background coloration spangled with small white spots, the extremity of the snout and the base of the first dorsal fin is yellowish.

The clown triggerfish is widely found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean until the western Pacific Ocean. It is most commonly found along external reef slopes with clear water until 75 m depth. Juveniles are usually staying below 20 m sheltered close to caves or overhangs.

Balistoides conspicillum has a varied diet based on different benthic organisms like molluscs, echinoderms and crustaceans.