Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Genus: Balistoides, Clown Triggerfish, Triggerfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

groove before eye
D&A uniform height
tail base: 2-4 rows large tubercles
cheeks grooved
teeth notched, size uneven
patch large, bony scales behind gill opening



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; III dorsal spines, 1st can be locked erect, 2nd > ½ the size of 1st; soft dorsal and anal of uniform height, not higher at front; most rays of dorsal, anal and pectoral fins branched; 2-4 rows of enlarged tubercles 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; a group of large, partly separated bony scales that form a thick membrane immediately behind gill opening; lateral line inconspicuous.

An Indo-Pacific genus with two species. One introduced to Florida