Hawaii State Fish
Hawaiian Triggerfish (common name)
Rhinecanthus rectangulus (scientific name)
The Hawaiian or reef triggerfish is an abundant, widely recognized Hawaiian tropical fish. Its unique tan, yellow, black, and white color pattern look like a modern painting and its angular body, small eyes, blue lips, and prominent dorsal spine make it hard to confuse with any other fish. The dorsal spine is just above and behind the eye and it can lock in position to defend against predators and to "anchor" itself to coral and rock so it can sleep and be protected from predators. This "locking" spine gives the triggerfish its name. The triggerfish's teeth are blue and they are set close together inside its compact mouth. The triggerfish can actually change coloration to blend in with its surroundings. It will blow jets of water to uncover prey hidden in the sand and it will sometimes inhale a pile of sand and sift through it with its mouth to find food. The Hawaiian triggerfish, or Humuhumunukunukuâpuaʻa, is the official state fish of Hawaii.
Length: Up to 18 in (46 cm)
Weight: Up to 1 lb (450 g)
Up to 30 years in the wild
Shallow coral reefs near the coasts of islands.
Distributed throughout the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans as far north as southern Japan. They are especially plentiful in Hawaii. Also found in the Red Sea, along the Mexican and Central American Pacific coasts, and in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuadorian coast.
Water type: Saltwater
Water temp: 75-80°F (24-27°C)
Elevation: Found at depths of up to 50 ft (20 m) below sea-level
Conservation Status: Secure
Juveniles feed on algae and adults eat mollusks, crabs, sea urchins, shrimp, worms, sponges, and eggs.
Mating behavior: Distinct Pairing
Egg laying: The female builds a nest and the male fertilizes her eggs. The female defends the nest vigorously until the eggs are hatched.
Reef triggerfish, rectangular triggerfish, wedge-tail triggerfish
Click to enlarge an image
Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press