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. 2023, Rhinecanthus aculeatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024, 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 south to Merimbula, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: from the Red Sea to South Africa, east to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, Tuamotu and Pitcairn islands, north to southern Japan, and south to Australia.
Inhabits reef flats and shallow offshore reefs.

Species Citation

Balistes aculeatus Linnaeus 1758, Systema naturae ed. 10, Vol 1: 328. Type locality: India.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus 1758)


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

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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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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. 

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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

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map