Triggerfish, the common name for a group of shallow-water, tropical marine fish. There are about 30 species, including the common triggerfish and the queen triggerfish. Triggerfish range in size from about 6 to 24 inches (15 to 60 cm), depending on the species. The bodies, which are flattened from side to side, are in most species brightly colored. Triggerfish have powerful teeth and feed on sea urchins and other spiny animals. Most species are covered by large, rough scales. Triggerfish are considered to be good food fish.

TriggerfishTriggerfish are flattened from side to side and brightly colored.

The front upper fin of the triggerfish is modified into two stout spines of different lengths. The first spine, the longer of the two, can be locked into an erect position when the second spine moves forward. The second spine acts as a trigger; it must be released before the large spine can be depressed. When alarmed, triggerfish dart into coral or rock crevices and cock their spines to wedge themselves into place.

Triggerfish belong to the family Balistidae. The queen triggerfish is Balistes vetula; the common triggerfish, B. carolinensis.