Clown Triggerfish

Clown Triggerfish

Balistoides conspicillum


This fish “triggers” its fins to extend in order to lock itself into crevices.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Blacktip Reef

Clown Triggerfish Clown Triggerfish Clown Triggerfish

Clown Triggerfish

The clown triggerfish has large white spots on its black belly and small black spots on its yellow back. It has a thick, white band under the eye and bright, yellow-orange lips. Its sharp teeth help it consume a diet of shelled animals.

Clown triggerfish are generally shy and solitary but can be very aggressive. Some may charge or attack intruders. When hiding from predators, triggerfish lock themselves into small openings with their trigger fin and bite down on coral or rock to ensure their safety.

These fish can be found in clear, coastal waters and around coral reefs as deep as 75 meters.

Clown Triggerfish Facts


The clown triggerfish’s diet consists of sea urchins, crabs, crustaceans and mollusks.


These fish can grow up to almost 20 inches.


The clown triggerfish resides in many areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, including Africa, Indonesia, Samoa, Japan and New Caledonia.

Population Status

The clown triggerfish is uncommon in coral reefs. It does not appear on the IUCN Red List.


Larger fish and sharks prey upon clown triggerfish.

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