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Species: Balistoides conspicillum, Clown triggerfish

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black; lower body - oval white blotches
back: yellow blotch + black spots
mouth yellow

Balistoides conspicillum (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Clown triggerfish

Body oblong, robust, compressed; cheeks with well developed longitudinal grooves; distinct groove before eye and below nostril; a small mouth that opens at the front, with powerful jaws made up of 8 heavy, outer teeth on the upper and lower jaws, teeth notched, uneven in size; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; dorsal fin III, 1st  can be locked erect, 2nd  > ½ the size of 1st, 25-27; anal fin 21-22; soft dorsal and anal of uniform height, not higher at front; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; pectoral 14;  3-4 rows of forward-pointing spines on tail base, extending slightly forwards on body; tail rounded; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; thick leathery skin, with regularly arranged diagonal scale plates; snout completely scaled; cheeks entirely scaled; a group of large, partly separated bony scales that form a thick membrane immediately behind gill opening; body scales small, 39-50 along side; lateral line inconspicuous.

Black upper body, a yellowish patch densely covered with irregular small black spots on front of back; lower body with large round white blotches separated by black lines; head black, chest white or black with large white spots; a yellow to white bar crossing snout under eyes, mouth surrounded by orange-yellow; spinous dorsal fin black; soft dorsal and anal fins with yellow to orange bases, whitish centers; tail fin black with a cream to white bar down center. Juvenile body black, with large round white spots; snout yellow, a yellow blotch on nape.

Reaches 50 cm

Normally lives on outer edges of outer reefs

Depth range 1-105 m.

Indo-central Pacific: introduced to Florida.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species..
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 50
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 105