Orange-lined triggerfish

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Orange-lined triggerfish
Balistapus undulatus (Nausicaä).jpg
Not evaluated (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Balistidae
Genus: Balistapus
Tilesius, 1820
Species: B. undulatus
Binomial name
Balistapus undulatus
M. Park, 1797

Balistapus undulatus, also known as the Orange-lined triggerfish is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Balistidae, the triggerfishes. It is the only member of the monotypic genus Balistapus.[1][2]


It grows up to 30 cm long. Its body has a stock appearance, oval shape and compressed laterally. The head is large and is about one third of the body length. The mouth is small and terminal and it has strong teeth.[3]

The first dorsal fin has three spines, one of which is longer and stronger. It is erectile and kept in a dorsal furrow at rest. The second dorsal fin is similar in shape and size to the anal fin, which is symmetrically opposed to it. The pelvic fin is reduced to a ventral protrusion.[3]

The body is dark green with orange lines. The male loses the lines on his snout as he matures. There is a black blotch on the caudal peduncle, and the caudal fin is orange.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

It is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific.[2] It inhabits coral reefs, lagoons and external reef slopes at depths up to 50 meters.[2]


The orange-lined triggerfish has a varied diet based on different benthic organisms such as algae, molluscs, sponges, hard coral tips, echinoderms, and fish.[2]


This triggerfish is diurnal, solitary, and territorial. It can be aggressive with other fish. It erects its first dorsal spine to intimidate opponents and predators.


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Balistapus undulatus" in FishBase. February 2015 version.
  3. ^ a b Lieske, E. & Myers, R. Coral Reef Fishes. Princeton University Press. 2009. ISBN 9780691089959