Rippled Triggerfish – Facts and Photographs

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

The Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.. Triggerfish obtain their name from the locking mechanism used to hold the dorsal spine in place. The main dorsal spine is kept erect by a second spine which locks the dorsal spine in place.

Only when this trigger spine is moved can the main spine be lowered. The spine is used for defensive purposes because when raised it makes it difficult for a larger predator to swallow them. The spine is also used to lock the fish into crevices or small spaces making it difficult for predators to extract them. Triggerfish are adept at sliding into small thin crevices and their dorsal spines are then erected to lock them into place.

APPEARANCE

The Rippled Triggerfish has a typical Triggerfish shape, a laterally compressed body, with its eyes set high on the body and far back from the mouth. This protects the eyes when dealing with urchins and some crustaceans. The skin is thick and leather like for protection from spiny and spikey prey.  The relatively small mouth with strong large teeth gives it a very powerful bite.

The body is an overall yellow-gold colour crossed by irregular blue lines  across the body and fins. The mouth is ringed in blue and there is a thick blue line below the mouth. The eyes are protruding and have a blue ring around them.  Adults can grow up to 60 cm in length and the World Record for a line caught specimen is 3.9 kg. This specimen was 59.69 cm in length.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

RIPPLED TRIGGERFISH IN THE WILD

The Rippled Triggerfish is usually seen on reefs and rubble area from 18 meters downwards and occasionally on walls.  They are adept at sliding sideways into a narrow crevice.  Usually they are seen solitary and research in Okinawa on similar species indicated that a male would have a territory overlapping that of three females.  Being highly territorial they will chase an intruder out of their territory.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

CAUTION FOR DIVERS ON THE RIPPLED TRIGGERFISH

When the female is guarding eggs they may become aggressive and protect a cone shaped area above the nest. If one is attacked the best strategy is to go onto ones back and keeping ones fins between the fish and ones self, to fin horizontally backwards and out of the cone. One should not swim upwards, but rather slightly downwards if possible to get out of the cone.  Usually once the female sees you are leaving they back off.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

HABITAT

Rippled Triggerfish are found across the Indo west Pacific area from South Africa to Southern Japan, and the southern Great Barrier Reef across into the Pacific Islands.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

DIET

Rippled Triggerfish have a varied diet and feed on mollusks, corals, sea urchins, crustaceans and tube worms. They are caught in some areas by fishermen using a relatively small hook baited with a whole prawn or other crustacean and additionally will take lures or flies.  Their large teeth and powerful mouth are used to crush their prey.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

REPRODUCTION

Breeding with Triggerfish  takes place between one male and a single female. The females lay their eggs on the substrate and they are fertilized by the male. The eggs are then guarded by the female to prevent them from being eaten by predators. While the female is guarding the eggs their behavior can be very aggressive.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

AQUARIUMS

Although they are beautiful fish, they are not commonly kept in aquariums because of their size and territorial behavior. Beyond any question of a doubt they are not reef safe and great care has to be taken with their tank mates as they will likely attack most smaller fishes. They are really not suitable for home aquariums. Because of their sharp teeth and propensity to bite great care should be taken with these fish and if the stories are correct several aquarists have been bitten by them.

Rippled Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes fuscus) is also known as the Blue Triggerfish, the Blueline Triggerfish and the Yellowspotted Triggerfish.

COMMERCIAL EXPLOITATION

Triggerfish are supposedly very good eating and are targeted by fishermen in some areas. This is unfortunate as they play a great role in keeping sea urchin populations in check.

RIPPLED TRIGGERFISH CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Balistidae
Genus: Balistoides
Species:B. fuscus

LITERATURE CITED

The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser

http://www.fishbase.se/summary/Pseudobalistes-fuscus.html

EQUIPMENT USED

Canon 24-70 F4L Lens
Ikelite 7D Housing
Ikelite Strobe Arm
Canon 7D
Ikelite Strobe Light
Flat Ikelite Lens Port
Ikelite Dual Synch Cord
Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

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