Starry Triggerfish

(Abalistes stellaris)

Abalistes stellaris, commonly known as the Starry triggerfish or Whitespotted triggerfish, is a species belonging to the family Balistidae. Here are some key details about this fascinating fish:

  1. Appearance: Abalistes stellaris has a robust, oval-shaped body with a distinctive color pattern. It is primarily white or pale gray with numerous dark spots covering its body, giving it a “starry” appearance. It can grow quite large, reaching up to about 60 cm (24 inches) in length.
  2. Distribution: The Starry triggerfish is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, including the Red Sea, East Africa, Madagascar, the Indian Ocean islands, Southeast Asia, and northern Australia.
  3. Habitat: This species inhabits a variety of coastal and offshore environments, typically found near coral reefs, rocky reefs, and sandy bottoms. It prefers areas with plenty of hiding places and structures where it can seek shelter.
  4. Behavior: Like other triggerfish, Abalistes stellaris is known for its strong jaws and teeth, which it uses to crush and feed on hard-shelled invertebrates such as crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins. It also consumes small fish and various algae.