Starry triggerfish
  • Abalistes stellatus
  • English Name : Starry triggerfish
  • Local Name : Thari rondu
  • Size : Max. 60 cm
  • Family : BALISTIDAE
  • Order : Perciformes
  • Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 3 spines and 25-27 rays. Anal fin with 24-25 rays. Pectoral rays 15-16. Body deep and laterally compressed. Scales enlarged above the pectoral fin base, forming a flexible tympanum. Cheeks scaly. Prominent groove on snout in front of eye. Longitudinal scale ridges on poste- rior part of the body. Caudal peduncle wider than deep. Caudal fin double emarginate.
  • Colour: Background colour grey dashed with olive green, suffused with yellow, overlaid with many pale spots. Three whitish blotches on back (faint or absent in large individuals). Pectoral fins yellow.
  • Habitat and Biology: Found over sand, sponge and weed bottoms to depths of 100 m. Solitary or in small groups. Feeds on benthic animals.
  • Distribution: Indo-West Pacific.
  • Remarks: Abalistes stellatus is not very often seen in the Maldives, because it is a moderately deep dwell- ing species. It appears to be more common in the atoll basins.