Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 3 spines and 30-34 rays. Anal fin with 29 rays. Pectoral fin with 14-16 rays. Caudal fin truncate or slightly rounded. Ridges on caudal peduncle not prominent.
Colour: Dark, almost black. White along bases of second dorsal and anal fins, and around caudal margin. Sometimes displays a rust brown patch behind spiny dorsal.
Habitat and Biology: Found in coral reef areas. Feeds well above the bottom, evidently on zooplankton.
Distribution: Indian Ocean.
Remarks: Melichthys indicus is one of a pair of very similar black trigger fishes. The other is M. niger (next page). In the field they are most easily differentiated on the basis of tail shape and colour. M. niger has an emarginate caudal fin that is all dark.