Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Blackbar Triggerfish, Black-barred Trigger-fish, Hawaiian Trigger-fish, Whitebanded Triggerfish, White-barred Triggerfish

A Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus, at Guam. Source: David Burdick / http://guamreeflife.com. License: All rights reserved

A pale triggerfish with a yellow band from the snout to below the pectoral fin, a dark bar through the eye to the pectoral-fin base, a dark brown region on the midside that connects to a series of dark diagonal bands above the anal fin, and rows of closely-spaced black spots on the rear of the body and caudal peduncle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Rhinecanthus aculeatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Mar 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/769

Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Point Quobba to the Dampier Archipelago and offshore reefs of Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to southern Queensland, with juveniles to at least Sydney, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits reef flats and shallow offshore reefs.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus 1758)


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. 

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21 

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Fraser-Brunner, A. 1935. Notes on the plectognath fishes. I. A synopsis of the genera of the family Balistidae. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 10 15(70): 658-663 figs A-B 

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Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398 

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Kawase, H. 2002. Simplicity and diversity in the reproductive ecology of triggerfish (Balistidae) and filefish (Monacanthidae). Fisheries Science 68(Suppl. 1): 119-122.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls. 

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp. 

Kuwamura, T. 1997. Evolution of female egg care in haremic triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Ethology 103: 1015–1023 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0310.1997.tb00143.x

Lesson, R.P. 1831. Poissons. pp. 66-238 pls 1-38 in Duperrey, L.I. (ed.) Voyage autour du monde, exécuté par ordre du Roi, sur la corvette de sa Majest., La Coquille, pendant les années 1822, 1823, 1824 et 1825 sous le ministère de S.E.M. Le Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre, et publié sous les auspices de son Excellence M. Le Cte De Chabrol, Ministre de la Marine et des Colonies. Histoire naturelle, zoologie. Paris : A. Bertrand. 

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundem classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii Tomus I 824 pp. 

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Matsuura, K. 2001. Triacanthodidae, Triacanthidae, Balistidae. pp. 3902-3928 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218. 

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

Oxley, W.G., Emslie, M., Muir, P. & Thompson, A.A. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science i-vii, 1-67 pp. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs. 

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs. 

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Ziadi-Künzli, F. & Tachihara, K. 2016. Female defence polygyny and plasticity in the mating system of the demersal triggerfish Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Pisces: Balistidae) from Okinawa Island. Marine Biology 163: 27. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-015-2780-z

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465028

Depth:0-5 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

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