Balistoides conspicillum   (Bloch & Schneider,  1801) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: Max length 50.0 cm TL (male/unsexed)

Color: Dark bluish brown, lightly lighter on back from behind eye to origin of soft dorsal; a white band from middle of snout to lower border of eye; lips broadly white; a narrow white ring behind the mouth; lower part of cheeks, throat to base of caudal white with a few black spots; lower half of body and tail with large white blotches; caudal peduncle white; edges of all white areas narrowly yellowish. First dorsal dark brown; soft dorsal and anal yellowish; base, lower, upper and distal parts of caudal dark brown leaving the central part yellowish. Pectoral pale yellowish.

Head 3.0 in standard length, 3.5 in total length. Depth of body 1.9 in standard length, 2.2 in total length. Eye diameter 5.3 in head, 3.7 in snout and 1.7 in slightly convex interorbital space. A deep groove in front of eye. Front of first dorsal spine covered with small tubercles, its length less than 2/3 length of head, second spine half length of first spine, third spine slightly more than 1/4 of second spine. Second dorsal and anal rounded, slightly elevated. Pectoral fin much less than half length of head. Ventral fin spine movable, covered with tubercles. Three rows of short conical spines on caudal peduncle and posterior part of tail.
Number of spines in the first dorsal fin: III; number of spines and rays in the second dorsal fin: ii, 24; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: i, 21; number of rays in the pectoral fin: i, 13; number of scale rows along the midside of body from the upper corner of operculum to the midbase of caudal fin in the absence of lateral line: 36+6; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 30.

Dioecious, external fertilization, guarders, nesters. Spawning occurs in patches of mixed coral rubble and sand on clear seaward reefs.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Balistes niger Bonnaterre, 1788
Balistes conspicillum Bloch and Schneider, 1801
Balistoides conspicillum Smith, 1949
Balistes conspicillum Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Senior synonym)
Balistoides conspicillum (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Senior synonym)
Balistoides niger (non Bonaterre, 1788)
(Misapplied name)
Balistoides conspicillium (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Common Name (s)
• Clown Triggerfish (English)
• Karatti (Malayalam)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial, Dangers
(Fisheries, aquarium; among the most highly prized aquarium fishes.
Reported to cause ciguatera poisoning.)

Habitat:  Reef Associated, Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Sea urchins, crabs and other crustaceans, mollusks, and tunicates


• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • James, C; O'Farrell, S; Hamylton, S; Ingwersen, C and Walker, R The coral reef resources of Mu Ko Surin national park, Thailand Coral Cay Conservation Available at -
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - index/
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Kemp, JM (1998) Zoogeography of the coral reef fishes of the Socotra Archipelago Journal of Biogeography 25 919-933
  • Allen, GR (2005) Reef fishes of northwestern Madagascar RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 31 39-48
  • Durville, P; Chabanet, P and Quod, JP (2003) Visual Census of the Reef Fishes in the Natural Reserve of the Glorieuses Islands (Western Indian Ocean) Western Indian Ocean J. Mar. Sci. WIOMSA 2 95-104
  • Allen, GR and Mohammed, A (2003) Coral Reef Fishes of Indonesia Zoological Studies 42(1) 26299 Available at - Digital Information Resource Center, Pune.
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at -
  • Fischer, W and Bianchi, G (Eds.) (1984) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean; (Fishing area 51). FAO, Rome 1 Available at -
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-11

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