Family: BALISTIDAE, Durgons, Triggerfishes
Triggerfishes are small to medium sized fishes (up to ~100 cm, but most < 40 cm) with oblong, robust, compressed bodies; a small mouth that opens at the front; 8 heavy, outer teeth on powerful upper and lower jaws; gill opening a short slit on side before pectoral base; III dorsal spines, 1st can be locked erect, 2nd > 1/2 the size of 1st; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; pelvic fins externally reduced to 4 pairs of large scales encasing end of pelvis; thick leathery skin, with regularly arranged diagonal scale plates; usually with a discrete patch of large scales above pectoral fin base; lateral line inconspicuous.
Triggerfishes are primarily inhabitants of the tropical Indo-Pacific region, but also occur in other warm seas. There are an estimated 44 species in 12 genera worldwide; six species in four genera occur in our region.
PREPARED BY D ROSS ROBERTSON, AFTER MATSUURA (2002)