About This Fish


The triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) is also known as gray triggerfish, filefish, leatherjacket, pig-faced, common triggerfish. It belongs to the family Balistidae under order Tetraodontiformes of class Actinopterygii. It occurs in the Western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia, southeast to Bermuda, and South to Argentina, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. The grey triggerfish is also found in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from England and Ireland, South to Angola and in the Mediterranean Sea. It prefers hard bottoms, reefs, ledges and sargassum.

The triggerfish is laterally compressed with tough leathery skin and two dorsal fins. Body is light gray to olive-gray or yellowish-brown while juvenile is yellowish with small violets dots. Irregular dark patches are present on the body and the fins are tinted with yellow, blue and olive while the second dorsal, anal, and caudal fin membranes are translucent. The first dorsal fin has three spines, of which, the first spine is very strong. The second dorsal fin is located directly opposite of an almost identical anal fin with 23-26 soft rays while anal fin contains 23-26 soft rays. The caudal fin lobes are elongated while the pectoral fin is short and rounded. Eyes are located distant from the mouth. The scales on the front half of body are large and plate-like while the scales on the posterior are smooth. Small opercula are located directly above the pectoral fins. Blue spots and lines are present on the upper body and dorsal fin while a pale narrow band is present on the chin. It is diurnal predator which feeds primarily on benthic invertebrates such as shrimp, crabs, sea urchins, sand dollars, sea stars, sea cucumbers and bivalve mollusks. It is preyed upon by tuna, dolphinfish, marlin, sailfish and amberjack, grouper and sharks. It reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2 years and about 30 cm in length. It spawns during July through September when water temperature reaches 210C. The female lays 50,000 to 100,00 eggs each year. It grows up to 76 cm in length and 6 kg in weight. It can live up to 13 years.

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Location Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Turks and Caicos Islands