What is a Titan Triggerfish?

Misty Amber Brighton
Misty Amber Brighton

A titan triggerfish is a large, scaly type of fish found in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has hard teeth, which help it to bite off pieces of coral. This fish has been known to attack divers who have stumbled upon its nest.

This species is typically around 30 inches (76.2 cm) long. The nose of the animal comprises approximately one-third of this distance. Most of its body is normally dark green or gray in color, but the fins are normally yellow or green with black tips.

The lower jaw of a titan triggerfish is usually a purple-gray color. It also often has black markings just above the lip. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as a moustache triggerfish.

Some titan triggerfish can feed on crabs.
Some titan triggerfish can feed on crabs.

This species has two eyes, one on either side of its head. These can move independently of each other. This means the left eye might point completely to the left, while the right eye rotates in the opposite direction. This can give the fish a greater range of vision so it might better protect itself from predators.

There are two dorsal fins, or those located on the back of a fish. The titan triggerfish often places these into the cracks or crevices of a rock or coral wall. This tends to lock the fish into place, so that it cannot be captured. The animal may exhibit this behavior whenever it feels threatened.

The diet of a titan triggerfish consists mainly of crayfish, crabs, lobster, other small shellfish, and coral. It often forages along the ocean floor, turning over rocks while looking for its food. This behavior has earned this fish a reputation of being a hard worker. The animal is often followed by smaller fish who pick up the leftovers discarded by this species.

Titan triggerfish are found mainly in the Indo-Pacific. This is a region that includes the western and central areas of the Pacific Ocean as well as the Indian Ocean. Even so, they are not normally found near the Hawaiian Islands. It may also sometimes be found in the Red Sea. The species primarily swims in lagoons and reefs located in these areas.

The bite of a titan triggerfish has been known to cause harm to humans, particularly if the animal feels its nest is threatened. In an attack, it can distribute a poison known as ciguatoxin, which can cause heart attacks or even death in some instances. For this reason, people should use caution when diving in ocean areas where this species is known to live.

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    • Some titan triggerfish can feed on crabs.
      By: raptorcaptor
      Some titan triggerfish can feed on crabs.