Species group: Triggerfish
Other common names: Big-Spotted Triggerfish
Scientific name: Balistoides conspicillum
The Clown Triggerfish is a member of the colorful Balistidae family of fish, and is found living in coral reefs to depths of 75 meters. The Clown Trigger feeds on crustaceans, sea urchins and small fish. The Clown Triggerfish is a highly prized marine tank fish. When threatened, the Clown Triggerfish dives into a crevice in the reef and wiggles itself into the shelter by erecting the large dorsal spine on its head, which is fixed by a second smaller spine behind it. Another spine on the fish's mid-section helps the fish secure itself into its shelter. If required, the powerful jaws attach to the wall of the hole providing additional anchorage.
The Clown Triggerfish is one of the most spectacular aquarium fish. It has a curved dorsal surface and a slightly pointed ventral surface giving it an asymmetrical appearance. This species has high-set eyes, each moving independent of the other allowing it the entire view of its surrounding, which helps the fish protect itself as well as easily find prey. It has strong jaws for crushing sea urchins, crustaceans, and hard-shelled mollusks.
The most interesting feature of this fish is its unique coloration. The ventral surface has large white spots on a dark background, usually brown or blackish, and its dorsal surface has small black spots on yellow. A vertical yellowish white stripe on the caudal fin has also been noticed. The brightly painted yellow or orange mouth gives this fish a clownish appearance, thus the name. This unique coloration helps it blend with its surroundings. Clown Triggerfish have two dorsal spines, one large and one small.
Juvenile Clown Triggerfish have more white spots on their body, extending from the ventral side up. The yellow spots on the back are replaced by a yellow patch and they lack the significant brightly colored mouth seen in adults.
It is very aggressive and incompatible with. It also preys upon invertebrates. It can be tamed to feed from the hand; however, its sharp teeth have to be avoided.
Triggerfish in general are very hardy aquarium fish. They need to be fed several times a day and can be fed flakes, frozen, and live food. A 100-150 gallons capacity tank is recommended for this comparatively big fish. They do not require too many arrangements in the tank. A tank with average lighting and vegetation is suitable for this species.
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