Hairfin Triggerfish, Abalistes filamentosus Matsuura & Yoshino 2004

A Hairfin Triggerfish, Abalistes filamentosus. Source: J-L Justine / Fishbase via EOL. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A triggerfish with long filamentous upper and lower caudal-fin rays; 3-4 longitudinal grooves on the cheek; body overall dark brown above with irregular pale markings, becoming paler ventrally; underside white; cheek brown with a greenish tinge.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Abalistes filamentosus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Hairfin Triggerfish, Abalistes filamentosus Matsuura & Yoshino 2004

More Info


Off Barrow Island, Western Australia, to the Timor Sea, Northern Territory. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-West Pacific from southern Japan to northern and north-western Australia, and New Caledonia; depth range 60-180 m.


Dorsal fin III + 25–27; Anal fin 22–25; Pectoral fin 14–15 (usually 14); Body scale rows 33–39; Head scale rows 25–32. 
Upper and lower rays of caudal fin greatly produced in filaments. Cheek with 3 or 4 longitudinal grooves. 


Dark brown mottled with irregular pale markings above with 3 white blotches on back, first below base of first dorsal-fin spine, second immediately behind third dorsal-fin spine, and third below middle of soft dorsal fin; cheek greenish-brown with 3–4 longitudinal dark brown grooves; ventral half of body pale or white; dorsal half of snout brown; first dorsal fin with large dark brown area on proximal part, pale distally with brown lines; soft dorsal and anal fins pale with 4–5 horizontal wavy brown lines; base of soft dorsal fin dark brown but base of anal fin white; base of caudal fin dark brown dorsally, white ventrally; caudal fin brown or yellowish brown proximally, paler distally with 3–4 vertical wavy brown lines; upper and lower filamentous rays dark brown (Matsuura & Yoshino 2004).

Similar Species

The Hairfin Triggerfish has filamentous upper and lower caudal-fin rays, 3–4 longitudinal grooves on the cheek, and lacks yellow or pale blue spots and yellow reticulations on the body of the similar Starry Triggerfish, Abalistes stellatus


The species is named filamentosus in reference to the filamentous rays in the caudal fin.


Dianne J. Bray

Hairfin Triggerfish, Abalistes filamentosus Matsuura & Yoshino 2004


Randall, J.E. & Justine, J.-L. 2008. The triggerfish Abalistes filamentosus from New Caledonia, a first record for the South Pacific. Cybium 32(2): 183-184. PDF Open access

Matsuura, K. & Yoshino, T. 2004. A new triggerfish of the genus Abalistes (Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae) from the western Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 56(2): 189-194. PDF Open access

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465089

Feeding:60–180 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:33 cm SL

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