Wedgetail triggerfish
Sustainability Species Identication Title
NOAA Fisheries Logo
Wedgetail triggerfish, Sebastes ruberrimus

The Hawaiian name for the wedgetail triggerfish is often used by islanders to determine whether a person is a tourist or an islander. If you can't say hu-mu hu-mu nu-ku nu-ku a pu-a-'a, everyone can tell that you just got off the plane. The name roughly translates from the Polynesian as fish with a pig-nosed face, which describes both the porcine nose of these reef dwellers and the grunting noise they make. Wedgetail triggerfish are one of the thirty members of the family Balistidae that are found in tropical waters worldwide; anyone who has ever snorkeled on a resort reef has seen one. When it is frightened, a triggerfish will head for a hole in the reef or nearby rock and lock into it by extending a spike on the top of its dorsal fin and stiffening a similar spike on the bottom of its body. Once a triggerfish has triggered in, it is impossible to remove it from its hiding place. Triggerfish are not harvested for food, but a vigorous market for aquarium fish has put pressure on stocks in some areas of their range.

Return To Main Button