Triggerfish are a family of marine fish comprised of roughly 40 distinct species. They are characterized by their rhomboid shaped, laterally compressed bodies and comparatively large heads. Triggerfish are also equipped with extremely powerful jaws and teeth designed to crush the shells of various species of crustaceans.
Triggerfish get their name from their two dorsal spines, which are locked into place as a defense mechanism against predators. When so erected, the first and larger dorsal spine can only be unlocked by depressing the second, smaller dorsal spine. They are also unique in the fact that they swim primarily by using an undulating motion of their dorsal and anal fins. They are regarded as some of the most fascinating and beautiful species of fish in the modern saltwater aquarium hobby. However, their extremely aggressive temperament requires the care of an experienced aquarist.
Triggerfish are a family of marine fish comprised of roughly 40 distinct species.
Triggerfish are found in the tropical and sub-tropical oceans across the world.
Most species of triggerfish are vibrantly colored and their bodies are often adorned with complex patterns and markings. They come in shades of orange, yellow, purple, silver, grey, black and white.
Maintenance and care
Triggerfishes are one of the most intelligent species of fish and individual specimens often display highly unique personalities. They are however an extremely dangerous species of fish and should only be raised by experienced aquarists. Triggerfishes are highly territorial and their teeth can cause serious injuries to careless aquarists. They can also be highly aggressive towards other tank mates and should ideally be kept as individual specimens.
Triggerfishes prey heavily on various species of crustaceans, mollusks and sea urchins and should not be kept in reef aquariums. Care should also be taken with aquarium décor and equipment as they can often wreck havoc on these items with their powerful teeth.
Their demanding temperament aside, triggerfishes are actually among the hardier species of saltwater fish and can thrive in an aquarium when given the right conditions.
Triggerfish are one of the most intelligent species of fish and individual specimens often display highly unique personalities.
Triggerfish should be fed on a varied diet of various crustaceans, shrimp, earthworms, octopus and squid.
There are no known reports of these fish successfully breeding in an aquarium environment.
Clown Triggerfishes, Bursa Triggerfishes, Niger Triggerfishes, Undulate Triggerfishes, Blue Throat Triggerfishes, Red Tail Triggerfishes, etc.
Photo credit: Brocken Inaglory/Wikimedia; Derek Ramsey/Wikimedia
Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).
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