Clown Triggerfish

(Balistoides conspicillum)

  • Animal Type


  • Exhibits

    Blacktip Reef

  • Range

    Indian Ocean

    Pacific Ocean


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.

Quick Facts

Learn more about the clown triggerfish! Did you know that this fish “triggers” its fins to extend in order to lock itself into crevices?

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

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

These fish can grow to almost 20 inches long.

This fish does not appear on the IUCN Red List.

Larger fish and sharks prey upon clown triggerfish.

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