gray triggerfish

Scientific name Balistes capriscus
Descriptor Gmelin
Year of description 1789
IUCN category VU
Family Balistidae
Genus Balistes
Balistes capriscus Balistes capriscus


Balistes capriscus, commonly known as gray triggerfish, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    44 cm
  • Maximum size
    66 cm
  • Shape
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    44 cm
  • Maximum size
    66 cm
  • Shape
  • Pattern

How to recognize the gray triggerfish ?

The gray triggerfish measures between 44 and 66 cm. This fish is tricolore with a predominantly bleu, marron and gris body. The also has beige mottling.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The gray triggerfish is a fish living in a group or alone naturally found at mid-depth and near the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

Although the gray triggerfish is non-territorial, it is sometimes aggressive towards other species.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The gray triggerfish is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert.

Risks for humans

  • Venomous
  • Bite

This species can attack if it feels threatened. It is important to be particularly vigilant especially during dives or fishing sessions.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    18 - 24 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 100 m

Biotope presentation

The gray triggerfish is most often found at a depth between 1m and 100m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

Species of the same family

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

A new maximum length for the grey triggerfish, Balistes capriscus Gmelin, 1789 (pisces: Balistidae) from the Adriatic Sea - Dulčić Jakov - Alen Soldo - INSTITUTE OF OCEANOGRAPHYAND FISHERIES - SPLIT CROATIA - 2005.

Age, growth, and mortality of gray triggerfish (Balistes capriscus) from the southeastern United States - Michael L. Burton - Jennifer C. Potts - Daniel R. Carr - Michael Cooper - Jessica Lewis - NOAA - National Marine Fisheries Service - 2014.

The reproductive biology of the grey triggerfish Balistes capriscus (Pisces: Balistidae) in the Gulf of Gabe` s (south-eastern Mediterranean Sea) - Hichem Kacem - Neifar Lassâd - Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom - 2014.

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Species of the same biotope

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