33 photos 16 species


Introduction


There are 12 genera and 43 species.

Triggerfish get their name from a special mechanism in their dorsal fin.

A first strong spine can be stretched upright so that the fish can clamp itself in a reef crevice to sleep at night.

The second, somewhat smaller spine relaxes the first when it is pressed.

Reproduction: They lay their eggs on the seabed in a hollow and guard them until they hatch.

The eggs are very aggressively protected, they attack anything that comes too close to their clutch.

Otherwise very peaceful.

Depending on the species, they reach a size of between 16 cm and 1 m.


Balistapus undulatus

Orange-lined triggerfish


Maximum length: 30 cm

Depth: 1 - 40 m

Green body with orange stripes.

Found in lagoons and coral-rich outer reefs.

Digs shallow nest cavities in rubble or sand.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North - Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Balistes vetula

Queen triggerfish or Old wife

Maximum length: 60 cm

Depth 3 - 15 m

The tips of their dorsal and caudal fins are elongated.

The face has two blue stripes and small lines radiating from the eye.

Their body color varies from purple to blue, and from turquoise to green.

Favorite food: Sea urchins.

Relatively shy fish, very difficult to approach.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Balistoides conspicillum

Clown triggerfisch or Bigspotted triggerfish

Maximum length: 35 cm

Depth: 5 - 60 m

Lives mainly as a solitary fish.

Very beautiful coloration and cannot be overlooked under water.

Photo 1 Johnny: Embudu Maldives


Balistoides viridescens

Titan triggerfish, Giant triggerfish or Moustache triggerfish

Maximum length: 75 cm

Depth: 5 - 35 m

While guarding the nest, it is very aggressive, as soon as you approach it, it attacks immediately and the bites of its large teeth can cause serious injuries and are very painful.

Photo 1 Johnny: El Qesir Egypt

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Canthidermis sufflamen

Ocean triggerfish

Maximum length: 60 cm

Depth: 12 - 35 m

Gray with a black spot at the base of the pectoral fin.

Swims alone or in small groups in open water, steep drop-offs and in the area of outer reefs.

Shy, likes to keep its distance.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Melichthys niger

Black triggerfish or Black durgon

Maximum length: 40 cm

Depth: 5 - 35 m

Black body with a pale blue seam on the back and anal fin.

Usually seen in small aggregations over reefs.

Very shy.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Bonaire Caribbean


Melichthys vidua

Pinktail triggerfish

Maximum length: 35 cm

Depth: 4 - 60 m

Black fringed anal and dorsal fins.

Inhabits clear outer reefs individually or in loose groups.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bangla Island North Sulawesi


Odonus niger

Redtoothed triggerfish

Maximum length: 40 cm

Depth: 1 - 55 m

Dark blue body and red teeth.

Usually in large schools in open water, hunting zooplankton, difficult to swim to as they quickly hide in reef crevices, with only the tail sticking out.

Very shy.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North - Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus

Yellowmargin triggerfish, Pineapple triggerfisch, Yellowface triggerfish or Yellowface triggerfish

Nest with clutch of Yellowmarin triggerfish
Nest with clutch of Yellowmarin triggerfish

Maximum length: 60 cm

Depth: 2 - 50 m

Yellow fin edges and a pink mouth.

Lives in deep bays, channels and lagoons.

Their mound nests are in sandy channels or in seagrass.

They are aggressive near the nest.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Pseudobalistes fuscus

Blue triggerfish, Rippled triggerfish, Yellow-spotted triggerfish or Blue-and-gold triggerfish

Maximum length 55 cm

Depth: 1 - 50 m

Very shy.

Photos 1 - 3 Johnny: Hurghada Embudu


Rhinecanthus assasi

Assasi triggerfish or Arabian picassofish

Maximum length: 30 cm

Depth: 2 - 15 m

Bright blue eye stripes.

Found on shallow outer reefs and in sheltered lagoons.

Shy, always close to hiding places.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Rhinecanthus rectangulus

Reef triggerfish, Rectangular triggerfish or Wedgetail triggerfish

Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: 1 - 20 m

Often solitary, territorial in the intertidal area.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Rhinecanthus verrucosus

Blackbelly triggerfish

Maximum length: 25 cm

Depth: 3 - 45 m

Very similar to Rhinecanthus verrucosus (see above), but has a black belly spot.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Sufflamen albicaudatum

Bluetroath triggerfish

Maximum length: 22 cm

Depth: 2 - 20 m

Brown body with a white-edged tail.

In sheltered outer reefs and shallow lagoons, usually over rubble and sand near low corals.

Shy, in case of danger it flees into caves.

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi

Photo 2 Johnny: Hurghada Egypt


Sufflamen bursa

Lei triggerfish, Bursa triggerfish, Scythe triggerfish or

Boomerang triggerfish

Maximum length: 24 cm

Depth: 3 - 90 m

Two brown or yellow, slightly curved stripes behind the eye.

Prefers outer reefs below the surf zone.

Photos 1 - 2 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi


Sufflamen fraenatum

Masked triggerfish

Juvenile
Juvenile

Maximum length: 38 cm

Depth: 8 - 180 m

This photo shows a juvenile brown triggerfish, so its colors are not yet fully developed.

Adults have a diagonal yellow stripe from the corner of the mouth to the back and a white ring on the caudal peduncle. 

Photo 1 Johnny: Bangka Island North Sulawesi