Masked Triggerfish (species: Sufflamen fraenatum) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Sufflamen fraenatum
Masked Triggerfish

©Lyle Vail: Sufflamen fraenatum about 20 cm long at Cobia Hole, Lizard Island.

©Lyle Vail: Sufflamen fraenatum at Cobia Hole, Lizard Island.

©Anne Hoggett: Sufflamen fraenatum about 18 cm long at Cobia Hole, Lizard Island (20170826). It was not observed to change colour.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Tetraodontiformes
Family Balistidae
Genus Sufflamen
Species Sufflamen fraenatum



Distinguishing features

Brown with a broad white band on tail peduncle; dark line above upper lip, yellow line on lower lip; indistinct paler brown line running from eye towards mouth, parallel to head profile, and a pale line under the chin. This colour pattern is not mentioned in Fishbase or by Allen & Erdmann (2012) but it is shown in iNaturalist from Hawaii. Very skittish. Appears to be able to change from pale all over to dark with white tail base quite quickly.


  • Up to 20 cm (Length) - applies to Individual(s) recorded in LIFG from Cobia Hole.

Depth range

  • From 15 m to 17 m



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Rare. Atlas of Living Australia (accessed 4 Dec 2016) lists only 4 records from the area and those date from 1975 and 1983. The species has only been recorded at Cobia Hole in Lizard Island Field Guide, and it is probably the same individual seen each time.

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