Redtooth Triggerfish, Odonus niger (Rüppell 1837)

Other Names: Black-bodied Triggerfish, Blue Triggerfish, Niger Trigger Fish, Red Toothed Triggerfish, Redtoothed Triggerfish, Red-toothed Triggerfish

A Redtooth Triggerfish, Odonus niger, in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia. Source: Paddy Ryan / License: All rights reserved

A dark blue to purplish-blue triggerfish with a paler blue or yellowish head, pale blue fin margins, and reddish teeth.

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

Redtooth Triggerfish, Odonus niger (Rüppell 1837)

More Info


Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to the Capricorn Group, Queensland; also at Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west-central Pacific from the Red Sea to French Polynesia.

Inhabits reef slopes and channels on seaward coral reefs in areas with strong currents - and may be locally abundant on steep outer reef slopes.


Omnivore - feeds mainly on zooplankton in the water column, often forming large aggregations; also consumes algae, invertebrates such as sponges, and fishes. 

Species Citation

Xenodon (Balistes) niger Rüppell 1836, Fische des Rothen Meeres 2: pl. 14(fig. 3).Type locality: Jidda, Saudi Arabia, Red Sea. 


Dianne J. Bray


Redtooth Triggerfish, Odonus niger (Rüppell 1837)


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.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Ceccarelli, D., Choat, J.H., Ayling, A.M., Richards, Z., van Herwerden, L., Ayling, A., Ewels, G., Hobbs, J. –P. & Cuff, B. 2008. Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve Marine Survey – 2007. Report to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts by C&R Consulting and James Cook University. 80 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hutchins, J.B., Williams, D.McB., Newman, S.J., Cappo, M. & Speare, P. 1995. New records of fishes for the Rowley Shoals and Scott/Seringapatam Reefs, off north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 17: 119-123.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 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.

Matsuura, K. 2014. 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. PDF Open access

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.

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1836. Neue Wirbelthiere zu der Fauna von Abyssinien gehörig. Fische des Rothen Meeres. Frankfurt Vol. 2, pp. 29–52, pls 8–14.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37465061

Depth:5-40 m

Habitat:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:40 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map