Bridled Triggerfish, Sufflamen fraenatum (Latreille 1804)

Other Names: Bridle Triggerfish, Bridled Trigger, Brown Triggerfish, Golden Triggerfish, Masked File Fish, Masked Triggerfish

A male Bridled Triggerfish, Sufflamen fraenatum, at Seaworld, Australia. Source: Dave Harasti / License: All rights reserved


Bridled Triggerfish females are brown to yellowish-grey with a bright yellow bar on the lower lip; males have a yellow stripe from the upperlip almost to the pectoral-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Sufflamen fraenatum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Bridled Triggerfish, Sufflamen fraenatum (Latreille 1804)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the Northern Territory, to Sydney, New South Wales, including reefs in the Coral Sea, and Elizabeth Reef, Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea; also at Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Pitcairn Islands and Hawaii, northwards to Japan and south to Lord Howe Island.

The Bridled Triggerfish inhabits sandy, silty and rubble areas around rocky and coral reefs. A territorial species, especially during the breeding season.


Dorsal fin III, 27-31; Anal fin 24-28.


To about 38 cm


Carnivore - feeds on a range of benthic fishes and invertebrates such as echinoids, crustaceans, polychaete worms, tunicates and forams; also consumes algae and detritus.



Although of no interest to fisheries in Australia, the Bridled Triggerfish is taken in subsistence fisheries in some parts of its range.


  • EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Etymology

    The species name fraenatum is from Latin and means 'bridled'.

    Species Citation

    Balistes fraenatus Latreille 1804, Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle, (1st ed): 74. Type locality: Madagascar and Polynesia.


    Bray, D.J. 2018


    Australian Faunal Directory

    Bridled Triggerfish, Sufflamen fraenatum (Latreille 1804)


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

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

    Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

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

    Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association pp.197.

    Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.

    Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

    Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp.

    Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled fishes of southern Indonesia and northwestern Australia. Australian Development Assistance Bureau, Canberra, Australia.

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

    Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398

    Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

    Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

    Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

    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.

    Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

    Latreille, P.A. 1804. Tableaux Methodiques des Poissons. In, Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle. (1st edn), Paris. Vol. 24, pp. 71–105.

    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. & Fricke, R. 2010. Sufflamen fraenatum (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154721A115227260. Downloaded on 02 December 2017.

    Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

    Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

    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.

    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

    Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

    Whitley, G.P. 1937. Further ichthyological miscellanea. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 11(2): 113-148 figs 11-13

    Quick Facts

    CAAB Code:37465014

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:8-200 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:38 cm

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    Species Maps

    CAAB distribution map