Fine-scale Triggerfish

(Balistes polylepis)

Balistes polylepis, commonly known as the Finescale triggerfish or the Hawaiian triggerfish, is a species belonging to the family Balistidae. It is found in the Pacific Ocean, specifically around the Hawaiian Islands and other parts of the central and eastern Pacific.

The Finescale triggerfish is known for its striking appearance, characterized by a robust body with a distinctive color pattern of dark spots and lines on a light background. It has powerful jaws and teeth adapted for crushing hard-shelled prey such as crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins.

Like other triggerfish, Balistes polylepis has a unique defensive mechanism: a sturdy dorsal spine that can be locked into place to deter predators or secure itself within crevices for protection. This feature gives rise to the name “triggerfish,” as the spine can be triggered or locked into position.

These fish are important both ecologically and economically in their native habitats, contributing to marine biodiversity and supporting local fisheries in regions where they are harvested for food.