Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Rhinecanthus aculeatus

English Name: White-banded triggerfish

Creole Name:

French Name: Baliste Picasso

IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)


Photo courtesy of Alain Decomarmond (c) 2018

Dorsal spines: 3; Dorsal rays: 23-26; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 21-23.

Body compressed with elongated head. Body is largely whitish with a dark region midlaterally. Blue line above upper lip. Four blue lines cross between the eyes and there are three blue lines between the eyes and the pectoral fin bases. A yellow line enclosing a blue 'moustache' runs between the mouth and the pectoral fin base. There are four white-blue stripes descending from the side of the body to that anal fin. Three longitudinal rows of black tail spines with white border. The upper two rows extend anteriorly onto the body, lowest row restricted to caudal peduncle.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 30cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Coral reefs, lagoon areas and subtidal reef flats (depth 0-50m). Juveniles secretive often in rubble patches, adults swim openly but are usually shy.  Feeds on a variety of benthic organisms including fishes, sea urchins, crustaceans, polychaetes, gastropods, corals and algae. Territorial and haremic with male territories overlapping two or three female territories. Pair-spawning occurs around sunrise and females care for the demersal eggs until hatching. Sleeps on its side; makes a whirring noise when alarmed.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It may be caught in the artisanal fishery but if so it is an exceedingly rare component of the catch.  


Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2018. https://www.fishbase.de/summary/rhinecanthus-aculeatus (05/11/18).

McGrouther, M. (2013). Hawaiian Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus. Australian Museum. https://australianmuseum.net.au/hawaiian-triggerfish-rhinecanthus-aculeatus (05/11/18).

Morris, J.A. & Schofield, P.J. 2018, Rhinecanthus aculeatus: USGS, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/factsheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2766, Revision Date: 4/30/2018, Peer Review Date: 1/4/2016, Access Date: 05/11/2018

Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


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