Pinktail Triggerfish

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Melichthys vidua - (Richardson, 1845)
Pinktail Triggerfish

A pretty, peaceable fish that is safe even in a reef aquarium. Roger Steene


Here is one of the more peace-loving triggerfishes and one that can be housed with other large fishes. It may even be safely added to a reef aquarium. It will usually ignore sessile invertebrates, but may occasionally succumb to the temptation of a shrimp snack.

Family: Balistidae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Provide ample swimming room with a couple of good hiding places that it can slide into.

Maximum length: 35 cm (14 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 seafoods and rations containing algae several times a day. Enriched, pigment-enhancing foods will help bring out its attractive coloration.

Aquarium Compatibility

This trigger is usually very tolerant of its piscine neighbors, but it may chase smaller, newly added fishes. Do not keep more than one Pinktail Triggerfish in the same tank, unless the aquarium is sizeable (180 gallons [684 L] or larger) or you can acquire a known male-female pair.


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


This fish will become a bold aquarium resident with time. When threatened, it will duck quickly into a crevice and erect its dorsal spine (the “trigger” in a triggerfish), making it almost impossible to extract. It can be a spitter, blowing jets of water at the water’s surface when begging for food. Most aquarists find this behavior amusing, but you may need to keep lights covered to avoid short-circuiting electrical outlets.

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