Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Canthidermis maculata, Rough Triggerfish, Spotted Oceanic Triggerfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body elongate
dark grey + white spots
D 23-25
A 20-22
soft D&A long, curved
skin very rough
pectoral 13-15

Canthidermis maculata (Bloch, 1786)

Rough Triggerfish, Spotted Oceanic Triggerfish

Body oblong, relatively elongate (depth 36-45% of SL in adults), robust, compressed; cheeks without longitudinal grooves; a distinct groove before eye and below nostril; mouth small, opens at the front, with powerful jaws made up of 8 heavy, outer teeth on the upper and lower jaws, teeth uneven in size, notched, center teeth not larger and pointed; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; dorsal fin III (1st can be locked erect, 2nd >½ the size of 1st) + 23-25; anal rays 20-22; pectoral rays 13-15; soft dorsal and anal fins long and curved, the anterior rays well elevated, much longer than posterior rays; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; tail base compressed, without spines, tubercles or ridges; caudal fin double concave, rounded in juveniles; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; thick leathery, very rough skin, with regularly arranged diagonal scale plates; snout without scales; no patch of enlarged scales immediately behind gill opening; lateral line inconspicuous.

Blue grey to nearly black, usually covered with small white spots.

Size: grows to 50 cm.

Habitat: In our region it is usually seen at offshore islands or far out to sea around floating debris such as logs.

Depth: 0-110 m.

Circumglobal in tropical seas; New York to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Mid Water
  • Near Bottom
  • Near Surface
  • Rocks
  • Water column
  • Corals
  • Flotsam
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Bentho-Pelagic
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Zooplankton
  • Ectoparasites
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Pelagic crustacea
  • Pelagic fish larvae
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 110