Fun Starry Triggerfish Facts For Kids

Georgia Stone
Aug 31, 2023 By Georgia Stone
Originally Published on Oct 04, 2021
Read these starry triggerfish facts to learn more about this marine carnivore fish from the Indo-West Pacific Ocean.
All ages
Read time: 7.4 Min

The starry triggerfish is a small triggerfish known for its harmless and interactive behavior. They were first described by Bloch and J.G. Schneider in 1801. At first, this species was known by the name Abalistes stellaris, but were later renamed Abalistes stellatus. This species is found throughout the Indo-West Ocean.

The starry triggerfish is tan brown to white, blue, yellow in color and often shows behavioral gestures during their spawning period. Though this species is harmless, during the spawning period they can turn out to be the most aggressive among other fishes and even towards humans.

They are also known as flat-tail triggerfish because they have a flat tail or caudal fin. The conservation status of this species is unknown, and with their widespread distribution, it can be presumed that this marine species is not extinct. They are well known in the commercial fishery and aquarium markets.

If you liked reading this article about starry triggerfish, you might be interested in some other related marine species articles about triggerfish and clown triggerfish.

Starry Triggerfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a starry triggerfish?

The starry triggerfish is a small fish of tan color with light and dark spots on its body. These marine fish are known to have very good humor towards humans with great interaction and are commonly found in fishery markets for commercial trade.

What class of animal does a starry triggerfish belong to?

The starry triggerfish belongs to the class of Actinopterygii and the order of Tetraodontiformes. They are from the family Balistidae and the genus Abalistes. The type species of the genus is Abalistes stellaris. The type species name was later changed to Abalistes stellatus.

How many starry triggerfish are there in the world?

The exact number of starry triggerfish, Abalistes stellatus, is not evaluated and is unknown to the world.

Where does a starry triggerfish live?

According to the distribution of these marine triggerfish, starry triggerfish are found in the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. They are seen swimming in the Red Sea, the eastern Atlantic in St. Helena, and from the north of Japan to Australia. They are also found on the southeast coasts of Asia and Africa.

What is a starry triggerfish's habitat?

The habit of starry fish, Abalistes stellaus, is found in the tropical water region with a deep range of 131-328 ft (40-100 m). They prefer to live on the silty sand bottom of the sea near coral reefs. They can also be found in mud areas.

Who do starry triggerfish live with?

Most triggerfish are known for their solitary behavior. Most adults prefer to live alone on their own near the coral reef. It is not evaluated and it is unknown about the starry triggerfish, whether they live in groups or solitude.

How long does a starry triggerfish live?

The lifespan of triggerfish is not evaluated and is unknown worldwide. However, when other triggerfish species are kept in captivity they can survive up to 20 years, while in their natural marine range of tropical coral reefs they can survive up to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

There is not much information available in regard to the starry triggerfish, Abalistes stellatus.

They are oviparous and mate with distinct pairings.

Most triggerfish species are known to lay their eggs on the silty sand bottom of the sea, and prior to this, they show some certain behavior of blowing on the sea bottom to form nests, and even after laying eggs, this blowing behavior is seen in them in order to provide oxygen to the eggs until they hatch.

Male and female fish in this species take care of the eggs and do not allow anyone to intrude into their territory.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this marine fish species is Not Evaluated and is unknown to the world. However, a certain assumption can be made that these starry triggerfish, Abalistes stellatus species, must be of Least Concern due to their wide range of distribution and habitat.

Starry Triggerfish Fun Facts

What do starry triggerfish look like?

This marine species of triggerfish, starry triggerfish of the family Balistidae, is a small-size marine and aquarium fish with a depressed caudal peduncle and flat tail. Their dorsal fins spines have 25-27 soft rays and anal fins have 24-26 anal soft rays.

At the base of the pectoral fins, a flexible tympanum is formed with enlarged keels with long-run ridges. Above the eye of the fish, there is a groove placed inwardly.

The fish's color varies from tan brown to white, blue to black, with light and dark spots on their bodies. These physical descriptions help spot them.

We've been unable to source an image of starry triggerfish and have used an image of titan triggerfish instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of starry triggerfish, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at

The starry triggerfish has a flat tail and a caudal fin.

How cute are they?

These marine and aquarium fish are cute due to their small size and interactive talk towards humans. Among all the fishes, this one is considered an ideal one due to its warm and friendly behavior. The starry triggerfish are also used commercially by humans as food and as pets in the house aquarium or tank.

How do they communicate?

These aquarium and marine fishes are known to communicate with each other using tactile cues and certain body gestures such as touching the bellies while mating, blowing the sea sand bottom to build nests, and using chemical smells to identify the species of their own kind.

How big is a starry triggerfish?

The size of starry triggerfish is not big and they are categorized among small fishes. This species of triggerfish, starry triggerfish, is 23.6 in (60 cm) long in length. 

How fast can a starry triggerfish swim?

The exact swimming speed of starry triggerfish is not evaluated and is unknown worldwide. However, as they are coral reef fish and of small size, they must make quick movements like most of the other fishes of the coral reef.

How much does a starry triggerfish weigh?

The weight of the starry triggerfish is not evaluated and is unknown. Most triggerfish weigh around 3-10 lb (1.4-4.5 kg). There is no specific weight of a starry triggerfish and the general weight of their body can be assumed.

What are the male and female names of the species?

No specific name has been given to the males and females of this aquarium or tank fish, instead, they are known only by their common names.

What would you call a baby starry triggerfish?

The babies of this aquarium or tank fish, starry triggerfish, are called larvae.

What do they eat?

Triggerfish eating other fish is a common occurrence and is also well known among small fishes that are carnivores.

The starry triggerfish has a diet carnivore and survives on a diet of fish small enough for their own body sizes such as shellfish, shrimp, squids, krill, and mussels.

According to their distribution and habitat, this tropical water fish species mostly searches for their food on the silty sand bottom and are found feeding on a diet of small crustaceans.

When not kept in an aquarium, they are often predated by large fishes, sharks, and humans.

Are they dangerous?

No, these fish species are not dangerous and are instead known to be interactive fish species. They are usually kept in a house aquarium and tank as a pet.

They are used in the commercial fish market for food. However, during the spawning and nestling periods, this fish species turns out to be aggressive and may often turn to bite the intruder.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, they would make ideal pets and are also used in the commercial trade in aquariums and tank fish. If you want to keep them in an aquarium as pets, then an aquarium or tank should be 125 gal (473 l).

It should be big enough for the fish to swim in and have a proper coral reef habitat similar to that of their natural habitat.

The feeding of fish should be given proper care, otherwise, they might attack the other small fishes in the tank or aquarium. Although, they should not be kept in the same tank as small fish due to their carnivorous diet.

Did you know...

An aggressive triggerfish is known to be very dominant and territorial during their nestling period and may even bite an intruder in their territory, whether it be a human or a sea creature. The exact number of eggs laid by this species is unknown.

Starry triggerfish are not endemic and are found throughout the Indo-West Pacific Ocean. The starry triggerfish can be spotted on the silty mud sand bottom of the sea and near the habitat of coral reefs. You can search for them at a depth of 131-328 ft (40-100 m).

What are triggerfish known for?

The triggerfish is known to maintain the ecology of the coral reef and its capability to contribute to the growth of the habitat body. They prey on sea urchins, which erode, and might, in turn, harm the reef body habitat.

What is the most aggressive triggerfish?

The yellow-spotted triggerfish, Pseudobalistes fuscus, and titan triggerfish, Balistotoides viridescens, are known to be the most aggressive triggerfish.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our kelp rockfish fun facts or kelpfish interesting facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable fish mosaic coloring pages.

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Written by Georgia Stone

Bachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

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Georgia StoneBachelor of Arts specializing in French with Film Studies, Bachelor of Arts (Year Abroad) specializing in Literature, History, Language, Media, and Art

Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.

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