Priacanthus hamrur (Forsskål, 1775)
Priacanthus hamrur (Forsskål, 1775)


Scientific Name: Priacanthus hamrur

English Name: Moontail bullseye

Creole Name: Lapo soulye

French Name: Beauclaire miroir

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 3; Dorsal rays: 25-27; Anal rays: 24-25.

Greyish to greenish brown dorsally, with small pale spots. Whitish ventrally with yellow spots that can coalesce to form a reticulum particularly posteriorly.  3 large 
oval white spots along the back and a small one dorsally on caudal peduncle; a broad white streak often on side of body posterior to upper end of gill opening. White 
blotches and mid-lateral stripe can disappear with growth.  An oblique groove before the eye; large bony scales behind gill opening. Caudal peduncle depressed, slender 
and tapering. Yellow bands on dorsal and anal fins. Caudal fin, yellow with white bars and stripes pattern and diffuse black margin, double emarginate, lobes longer 
with growth.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 60cm TL

Habitat and Ecology:

Reef associated. Inhabits mud and silt sand bottoms (depth 7-350m), usually 7-100m depth on sand, sponge, and weed bottoms. Feeds on benthic animals, including crabs, 
molluscs and sea urchins. Juveniles in sheltered coastal bays and estuaries.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in both the fish trap and hand line fisheries and is, along with Sufflamen fraenatum, 
the most commonly caught triggerfish in the artisanal fishery.




Abalistes stellaris is a synonym for this species.


Bray, D.J. (2018).  Abalistes stellatus in Fishes of Australia, (30/10/18). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase  (30/10/18)
Matsuura, K. (2015). Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyol Res (2015) 
62:72–113 DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5  
Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2015). Abalistes stellatus. The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T193587A56996805. (18/06/22). .
Matsuura K, Yoshino T (2004). A new triggerfish of the genus Abalistes (Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae) from the western Pacific. Rec Aust Mus 56:189-194
Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. & Mason-Parker, C. (2019). Abalistes stellatus, Starry triggerfish. Seychelles Seatizens.  (updated 18/06/22).

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Dorsal spines: 10; Dorsal rays: 13-15; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 13-16.
Body moderately deep, ovate and laterally compressed. Eye large. Mouth oblique tip of lower jaw protrudes when mouth closed. Jaws with small teeth. Posterior of maxilla reaches below anterior half of eye. Poorly developed preopercular spine, inconspicuous to non-existent in adults. Scales covering most of head and body onto base of caudal fin. Soft portion of dorsal fin taller than spinous portion and angular posteriorly. Pectoral fins shorter than pelvic spine. Pelvic fins long, reaching posterior to spinous portion of anal fin. Caudal fin truncate in juveniles; concave to lunate in adults.
Colour. Body, head, and iris of eye red. Capable of changing to silvery with red bars or large spots in a matter of seconds. Row of small dark spots sometimes evident along lateral line. Median fins dusky, without distinct dark spots. Pelvic fins dusky usually with black spot at base of first three rays.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 45cm TL. Commonly to 40cm TL. 

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits coral reefs and rocky bottoms (depth 3-250m, typically 30-50m). Prefers outer reef slopes to more sheltered environments. Usually inactive by day, seen singly under ledges or near coral heads or in small aggregations schooling above the reef. Feeds on small fish, crustaceans, and other small invertebrates

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery and by handline, it is a periodic but not common or abundant component of the catch.  


Carpenter, K.E. et al 2016. Priacanthus hamrur. The IUCN Red List 2016: e.T46087863A46664864. (18/08/19).

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. 2019. FishBase. (18/08/19).

Heemstra P & Heemstra, E. (2004). Coastal Fishes of Southern Africa. NISC SAIAB. ISBN: 1-920033-01-7.

Starnes, W.C., 1988. Revision, phylogeny and biogeographic comments on the circumtropical marine percoid fish family Priacanthidae. Bull. Mar. Sci. 43(2):117-203.


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