Pallid Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Boomerang Triggerfish, Boomerang Trigger-fish, Lei Triggerfish, Reef Triggerfish, Scimitar Triggerfish, Scythe Triggerfish

A Pallid Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa, in Fiji. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pale grey to brown triggerfish with a scythe-like or crescent-shaped brown to yellow band behind the eye, another through the pectoral-fin base, a white diagonal line behind the mouth, and a white chin and belly. The rear edge of the pelvic flap is black.

Video of a Pallid Triggerfish on a reef.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Sufflamen bursa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jul 2024,

Pallid Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


From Ningaloo Reef, Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to South Solitary Island, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, reefs in the Coral Sea, and Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits areas with mixed coral, rubble and sand on seawards reefs.


Feed on a range of benthic invertebrates including crabs, bivalve and gastropod molluscs, echinoids, tunicates, polychaete worms, along with algae and detritus.


Of minor commercial importance in parts of its range, and also collected for the aquarium industry.

Species Citation

Balistes bursa Bloch & Schneider 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae: 476. Type locality: Indian Ocean.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Pallid Triggerfish, Sufflamen bursa (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


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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

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465078

Depth:3-90 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:25 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map