Orangestriped triggerfish

Balistapus undulatus family

Balistidae taxonomy

Balistapus undulatus Park, 1797, Sumatra, Indonesia. other common names

English: Orange-lined triggerfish; French: Baliste strié; German: Orangestreifen-Drückerfisch; Afrikaans: Oranje streep-snellervis; Japanese: Kumadori.

physical characteristics

Body compressed and oblong, the forehead sloping to above the eye, the caudal peduncle compressed, with a truncate caudal fin. There are three spines, 24-27 soft rays in the dorsal fin, and 20-24 soft rays in the anal fin. The first dorsal spine can be locked. Body color variably green to dark green or dark brown. There is a pattern of orange lines that curve obliquely on the posterior portion of the head and along the body. A band of orange and blue stripes runs obliquely from the mouth to below the pectoral fin. There is a large black blotch on the caudal peduncle. The caudal fin and soft fin rays of the dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins are orange. Grows to at least 11.8 in (30 cm) in total length.


Tropical and subtropical Indo-West Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa south to Natal in South Africa, east through Micronesia and the Line Islands to the Marquesas and the Tu-amotu Archipelago in eastern Polynesia, south to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia and New Caledonia, and north to southern Japan. New research suggests that populations in the western Indian Ocean, the Indo-Malayan region, and the Pacific may constitute three distinct species.


Somewhat ubiquitous on reefs; may be found on seaward or protected reefs and in lagoons at depths ranging from about 6.6 to 164 ft (2-50 m).


Territorial and generally solitary, although individuals may live in somewhat close proximity to one another and have overlapping home ranges.

feeding ecology and diet

Omnivorous. Feeds on sponges, hydrozoans, tunicates, mol-lusks, echinoderms, small fishes, and algae.

reproductive biology

Pair-spawns, with a single cluster of eggs deposited in a shallow nest excavated in rubble or sand. Larvae are pelagic.

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conservation status

Not listed by the IUCN.

significance to humans

A minor commercial or subsistence food fish in some areas that is either dried and salted or sold fresh. Also collected for the aquarium trade. ♦

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