24 Mart 2013 Pazar

Hawaii State Fish

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.
Fertilization: External
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.
Aquarium fish
Reef triggerfish, rectangular triggerfish, wedge-tail triggerfish
  • The fish’s name in Hawaiian, humuhumukununukuapua'a, means "fish with a pig's nose." It is a Hawaiian tradition to pair sea creatures with land creatures for religious and ceremonial purposes; the triggerfish’s habit of rooting around in the sand for food made it a natural companion to the pig.
  • In 1985, the reef triggerfish was voted the official state fish of Hawaii, but the designation was only for a five-year period, after which another vote was to be held. The referendum wasn’t held, however, so the triggerfish ceased to be the state fish of Hawaii in 1990. In 2006 the governor of Hawaii reinstated the reef triggerfish as the state fish.
  • The popular 1933 song "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii" includes humuhumukununukuapua'a in its refrain, and a song in the movie High School Musical 2also uses the fish’s Hawaiian name in its title.

Click to enlarge an image
State Fish
Reef Triggerfish
State Fish
Reef Triggerfish in Coral Habitat
State Fish
Close-up of Reef Triggerfish

Species:R. rectangulus
Raw Data Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Author: World Trade Press

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