Titan Triggerfish are definitely my best friends on the reef. And I like being very sarcastic.
Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) is the largest of the triggerfish found in the Indian Ocean and it can reach up to 75 cm in length.
They are very peculiar animals for several reasons, first they owe their name ‘triggerfish’ to a particular trigger-like spike in front of their dorsal fin which they use to lock themselves in crevices and holes to avoid predators. They are generally quite colorful, ranging from blue to multicolored such as the Picasso Triggerfish, but the most important features for us are their diets and their reproductive behaviour.
They feed on a variety of organisms, everything from plankton to large invertebrates, including sea urchins and even corals. How do they break the hard shells and skeletons of invertebrates? Through their powerful jaws…
In terms of reproduction, they have a behaviour which is typical for only a few families of fish, they lay eggs on the reef and protect them until they hatch, 5 days later.
Between their mighty jaws and instinctive defence mode…you’ll have a War of Titans.
Titan Triggerfish usually nest once a month, so if you’re out snorkelling during that time, you better watch out! When swimming near the reef it is important to always look forward and if you spot one, try to swim out into the deep and around the nest. If by chance you get too close and it starts to charge, all you need to do is swim backwards keeping your fins between you and the fish.
When swimming in the ocean it is always important to be aware and respect the surrounding beauty .. even if it can be a beast at times. Safe Swimming!
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