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Species: Canthidermis sufflamen, Ocean triggerfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

body relatively deep
dark grey, dark blotch pectoral base
D 26-27
A 23-25
soft D & A long, curved
pectoral 15-16

Canthidermis sufflamen (Mitchill, 1815)

Ocean triggerfish

Body relatively deep, depth 47-63% 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 and 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) + 26-27; anal rays 23-25; pectoral fin 15-16; 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; tail fin double concave, rounded in juveniles; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; thick leathery skin, with regularly arranged diagonal scale plates; snout without scales; no patch of enlarged scales immediately behind gill opening; lateral line inconspicuous.

Grey to brownish grey, a large dark blotch at pectoral base.

Size: grows to 65 cm.

Habitat: usually around dropoffs of clearwater offshore reefs.

Depth: 5-300 m.

Massachusetts to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Bottom + water column
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Water column
  • Rocks
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Corallivore
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Zooplankton
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Extends South of GC
  • Continent
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • All species..
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends North of GC
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 65
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 300