Niger Triggerfish

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Odonus niger - (Rüppell, 1836)
Niger Triggerfish

An excellent beginner's fish, hardy and not very aggressive. Scott W. Michael


An active, showy member of the triggerfish clan that sports red-pigmented teeth that protrude from the jaws as an adult. You can keep more than one in the same large tank—add all individuals simultaneously.

Family: Balistidae

Other common name(s):

  • Redtooth Triggerfish

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Provide several good crevices for this species to slide into, as well as plenty of swimming room.

Maximum length: 50 cm (20 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 380 L (100 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.


Omnivore. Feed meaty and herbivore foods several times a day. Meals of color-enhancing foods several times each week will be beneficial.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Niger Triggerfish is not a particularly combative fish and does not usually bother other fishes in an aquarium setting. It may occasionally pester small fishes that are added to a tank where it already resides. This is one triggerfish that causes few problems in the reef aquarium. Some individuals may attack and eat ornamental shrimps, and they may turn on some ­sessile invertebrates if they are not fed often enough.


Demersal (on or near the bottom) spawners that tend and protect their broods.


The Niger Triggerfish is an active species that will scull about the tank looking for tasty morsels. It will rapidly retreat into a crevice, headfirst, when threatened, and only back out when it feels the danger has passed. It has been known to rearrange aquarium decor by lifting pieces of the reef in its jaws or blowing jets of water at the soft substrate.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM