Trigger Fish – Balistidae

The Trigger Fish

Triggerfish derive their common name from a stout first dorsal spine which can be locked into potion by a small second spine, looking like a trigger.  The trigger is used by the fish to wedge themselves into coral crevices at night.  They come in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns, making them something to behold. These fish are also characterised by a leathery skin and a small mouth with powerful, crushing jaws.  But don’t worry they do not are not looking to you for a meal. However, sometimes they guard their nest as we guard our homes.  Triggerfish feed on a wide variety of invertebrates including sponges, gorgonians, crabs, shrimps, molluscs and echinoderms.  They are often seen head down ‘blowing’ water into the sand to excavate food. They swim by undulating the second dorsal and anal fins, bringing their tail into action only when speed is needed.

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