Wingkeel Triggerfish, Xenobalistes tumidipectoris Matsuura 1981

A rare triggerfish known only from juveniles. Body pale, covered in many dark brownish spots and irregular marks, those on the lower half of the head and body yellowish-brown, and a black membrane on the outer part of the spinous dorsal fin. The  pectoral, second dorsal, and anal fins are pale, and the rear half of the caudal fin is light red and the proximal half is pale.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Xenobalistes tumidipectoris in Fishes of Australia, accessed 01 Jul 2022,

Wingkeel Triggerfish, Xenobalistes tumidipectoris Matsuura 1981

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Australian record is based on juvenile specimen from off Yonge Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere the species occurs in the west Pacific: Mariana Islands and the Ryukyu Islands.


Dorsal fin III + 27; Anal fin 24; Pectoral fin 13; Head scale rows 20-21; Body scale rows 35-45; Vertebrae 7+11=18.


The holotype of Xenobalistes tumidipectoris (60.5mm SL) was found among the stomach contents of an Indo-Pacific blue marlin, Makaira mazara, collected off the Mariana Islands.
This species may be a prejuvenile triggerfish of the genus Xanthichthys.


The specific name tumidipectoris is from the Latin tumidus (= swollen) and pectoris (= pectoral) in reference to the the oblong bony protuberance beneath the pectoral fin, the “greatly expanded coracoid supporting the large rounded protuberance just below the pectoral fin” (Matsuura 1981). 

Species Citation

Xenobalistes tumidipectoris Matsuura 1981, Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo A 7(4): 192. Type locality: Off Marianas Islands, 20°33'N, 145°15'E (stomach content).  


Bray, D.J. 2021


Atlas of Living Australia

Wingkeel Triggerfish, Xenobalistes tumidipectoris Matsuura 1981


Matsuura, K. 1981. Xenobalistes tumidipectoris, a new genus and species of triggerfish (Tetraodontiformes, Balistidae) from the Marianas Islands. Bulletin of the National Science Museum, Tokyo A 7(4): 191-200 figs 1-11 See ref online

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.

Matsuura, K. 2015. Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research 62(1): 72-113,

Matsuura, K. & Toda, M. 2012. The second record of a remarkable triggerfish, Xenobalistes tumidipectoris Matsuura, 1981, from Japan (Actinopterygii, Tetraodontiformes, Balistidae). Bulletin of the National Museum of Nature and Science (Ser. A) 38(2): 89-93 See ref online

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465088

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map