Wild Fact #246 – Not Afraid to Pull the Trigger – Triggerfish

Triggerfish Species

Photo from Wikimedia

Divers and aquarium enthusiasts alike will appreciate the 40 species of Triggerfish scattered throughout the oceans of the world. In fact, these colourful animals are quite popular among pet owners and scuba-divers as their colours and unique behaviours entertain people every day. The largest of the Triggerfish species is the Stone Triggerfish which is capable of reaching 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length but we are going to narrow our Wild Fact to just one species. We are going to learn about the entire family so we can be prepared to spot any one of these species during our next ocean adventure.

The “Mikey” of the Fish World

The eating habits of these bottom dwelling fish are particularly unique. You see, Triggerfish will dig up worms and crabs by blasting the sand away shooting out  a powerful stream of water from their mouths. Once their prey is uncovered, they don’t stand a chance against the incredibly tough teeth of this fish. In fact, the jaws of this creature are so powerful that they have been known to feed on Sea Urchins, which is no easy task as you need to be wary of all their hard spines. And when they are not uncovering their buried prey or feeding on impenetrable animals, they will generally feast on the smaller fish inhabiting the beautiful reefs. As you can see, the Triggerfish is not a picky eater.

Triggerfish Feeding

Photo from Wikimedia

Protect the Nest at All Costs

This particular fish depends greatly on the tides and consequently the moon. Their astrology side comes in handy when deciding the best time for mating. When everything lines up just right, a large group of Triggerfish will congregate on common mating grounds. The males will typically set up their territories and create nests capable of housing over ten thousand eggs. As you might expect, the males are quite protective of their territory. Actually, they are known for how aggressive they will become to protect their nest. These large fish with strong teeth have been known to charge and bite anything that comes near their territory. Yes, this includes larger fish and even humans…so be careful during your next dive.


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  1. Ketelin 3 years ago

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