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Balistidae
TRIGGERFISHES
Durgons

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Pseudobalistes naufragium
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Pseudobalistes naufragium
Xanthichthys
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Xanthichthys

Xanthichthys mento
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Xanthichthys mento
Xanthichthys mento
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Xanthichthys mento

Canthidermis
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Canthidermis
Canthidermis maculata
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Canthidermis maculata

Pseudobalistes
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Pseudobalistes
Pseudobalistes naufragium
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Pseudobalistes naufragium

Xanthichthys caeruleolineatus
© Copyright Photographer/SFTEP, 2002 · 0
Xanthichthys caeruleolineatus
Sufflamen
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Sufflamen

Sufflamen verres
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Sufflamen verres
Sufflamen verres
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Sufflamen verres

Canthidermis maculata
© Copyright Gerald Allen, 2006 · 0
Canthidermis maculata
Canthidermis maculata
© Copyright Roger Steene, 2006 · 0
Canthidermis maculata

Balistidae
© Copyright Ross Robertson, 2006 · 12
Balistidae
español

Overview
Main identification features
  • body deep, compressed
  • thick hard skin
  • 1st dorsal fin : iii
  • small mouth, strong teeth
  • small gill opening
  • pelvic = spine or absent
FAMILY BALISTIDAE

TRIGGERFISHES, DURGONS

Triggerfishes are characterized by a football shape, leathery skin, and small mouth with powerful jaws and 8 external teeth on the upper and lower jaws. They are closely related and similar in appearance to the filefishes (Monacanthidae), but generally are more robust and have III dorsal spines (filefishes have only two) with the second >1/2 the size of the first; most rays of the dorsal, anal and pectoral fin are branched; and the pelvic fins reduced to a small scaly spine.

Some of the larger triggers in the Indo-West Pacific region are a hazard to divers when tending nests, which are recognized as cone-shaped depressions in rubble-bottom areas. The female parent is especially vicious and may aggressively charge other large fishes or humans. Although the mouth is small they can deliver a painful bite. Triggerfishes feed on a wide variety of items. A few species consume mainly plankton, but most feed on a combination of such items as algae, live coral, urchins, crabs, shrimps, brittle stars, sponges, tunicates, polychaete worms, cephalopods, hydrozoans, and fishes. At night triggerfishes wedge themselves tightly in crevices by locking the dorsal spines into an erect position.

Triggers are primarily inhabitants of the tropical Indo-Pacific region, but also occur in other warm seas. There are an estimated 40 species in 11 genera worldwide; eight species (two circumtropical, two Indo-Pacific, one Pacific and three endemics) from six genera are encountered in the tropical eastern Pacific.

The eastern Pacific species were reviewed by Berry and Baldwin (1966).


References
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