Crosshatch Triggerfish

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Xanthichthys mento - (Jordan & Gilbert, 1882)
Crosshatch Triggerfish

An intelligent beauty and one of the few triggerfishes that can safely be kept in a reef aquarium. Matthew L. Wittenrich


This a justifiably prized species in the aquarium trade, a fish with brains and beauty and a member of a genus of triggerfishes that can be considered potentially good members of a reef aquarium community.

This species is distinctly dimorphic: males are straw yellow with red tails trimmed in blue while females are a pale bluish-grey with a less intensely red tail. Both sexes have black-edged scales, giving them a crosshatched appearance. Colors become more intense as the fish matures.

Family: Balistidae

Other common name(s):

  • Redtail Triggerfish

Native range:

Habitat: Swims in open water near stony coral reefs and rocky drop-offs at depths from 3 to 100 meters (10 to 390 feet). Often seen in schools in the wild.

Maximum length: 29 cm (11 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Marine 23 °C (73 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Mid-level.


Carnivore. Feed a mixed diet of meaty foods, including chopped seafood, krill, frozen marine rations. Feed at least three times daily.

Aquarium Compatibility

Can be kept in pairs in larger aquariums.


See Rarities Profile by Inken Krause from CORAL Magazine.[1]

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM