Blackpatch Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus verrucosus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Black Patch Triggerfish, Blackbelly Picassofish, Blackbelly Triggerfish, Black-blotch Triggerfish, Black-blotch Trigger-fish

A Blackpatch Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus verrucosus, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Andy Lewis / Lizard Island Research Station. License: CC by Attribution

A pale brown triggerfish becoming white below, with a large dark patch on the lower side, a narrow red stripe from the snout to the pectoral-fin base, vertical bars with pale margins running across the top of the head through the eye to the pectoral-fin base, and three rows of small black spines on the caudal peduncle.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Rhinecanthus verrucosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2023,

Blackpatch Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus verrucosus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Cook Island, northern New South Wales; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from the Chagos Archipelago through Indonesia to Vanuatu and north to southern Japan.
Wary around divers, usually diving into holes or swimming away.

Species Citation

Balistes verrucosus Linnaeus 1758, Systema naturae I: 328. Type locality: India.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Blackpatch Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus verrucosus (Linnaeus 1758)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

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

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

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. 

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. 

Munro, I.S.R. 1967. The Fishes of New Guinea. Port Moresby : Dept. Agric. Stock Fish. 651 pp. 23 figs 84 pls. 

Quoy, J.R.C. & Gaimard, J.P. 1824. Description des Poissons. Chapter IX. pp. 192-401 in Freycinet, L.C.D. de (ed.) Voyage autour du Monde, entrepris par ordre du Roi, exécuté sur les corvettes de S.M. Uranie et la Physicienne, pendant les années 1817, 1818, 1819 et 1820. Paris : Pillet Aîné Vol. 1 712 pp. 96 pls. (as Balistes spinosissimus)

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465074

Depth:1-20 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (uncommon)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:23 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map