Trigger fish, an unfair reputation

Trigger fish seem to get a bad rep within the diving world. People focus more on them for their rare attacks and less on their unique and interesting traits. As soon as you look past this embellished fear you find one of the most distinctive and interesting animals in the sea.

Made up of 40 different species triggerfish are scattered throughout the world’s seas. Here in Koh Tao at Davy Jones Locker the most common we encounter are the Titan Triggerfish and the more docile Yellow Margin Triggerfish. They dwell mainly on the bottom within their trigger pits which their territory expands upwards in a cone.

Trigger fish are by far one of the more intelligent species in the aquatic world. Digging out their prey, such as crabs and worms, by flapping away debris with their fins and sandblasting with the water squirted from their moths. They also take on those pesky sea urchins. Flipping them over to get to their bellies which have fewer spines. They have also been heard to pick up rocks to use as tools to prise open tougher shelled prey.

A colourful and varied species, they can never be accused of not having a personality. As is apparent in other underwater species, sometimes including other divers. As long as they are treated with respect and properly understood triggerfish turn from something to run (swim) from to something of great interest.

by Alex









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