The beautiful, robust and perhaps misunderstood titan triggerfish is often found in lagoons, outer reefs and nibbling at the ends of your fins (especially if they are yellow). With a daring attitude unrivalled by any other, the titan triggerfish is our Wildlife of the Week:

Species: Balistoides viridescens

Class: Actinopterygii

Status: (IUCN) Not Evaluated

Diet: Hard corals, hard bodied benthic invertebrates (shellfish, crustaceans and urchins) and algae

Size: Up to 75 centimetres

Behaviour: Titan triggerfish are often solitary, and diurnal, meaning they are day-time fish, sleeping at night.

Distribution: They inhabit the coral reefs found in the Indo-Pacific region comprising Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Fiji and Australia, as well as the Maldives and the Red Sea 

Ecosystem: The nest of the titan triggerfish is usually in a flat sandy area amongst the corals, an area that it will defend with a passion

5 fast facts: 

  • Titan triggerfish are extremely territorial, mating season is a particularly aggressive time during which the trigger fish becomes even more territorial than usual 
  • Their teeth, designed for crunching through hard shells and coral, can inflict serious wounds on any would-be intruders
  • Their territory extends upwards in the shape of a cone, ascending will only put you further into its territory, making a horizontal swim away from the nesting area the best escape route
  • Titans are also known as the “Black-tipped” or “Moustached Triggerfish” due to their appearance – they have dark markings above the mouth which look like a moustache – and black edgings on their fins
  • The triggerfish search for mating partners and are known to do mating dances with the chosen one