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Sea Life, Animals
& Exhibits

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Black Triggerfish

(Melichthys niger)

When in the water, it appears to be completely black. However, if it is taken out and exposed to bright light, one can see that it is actually of a dark-blue/green coloration and they have bright white lines running along its dorsal and anal fins.  It also has thin light blue-turquoise colored lines on the face and around the eyes.


They are found from Hawaii, up through Polynesia, westward to the East Indies and across the Indian Ocean. Unlike most other Triggers that live a solitary life on the reef, the Hawaiian Black Trigger Fish is different. Each one has its own place to live in amongst the coral and rock formations just outside the reef, but they will emerge and congregate above near the surface of the water in large schools to feed.


These fish are Omnivorous and they feed upon small fish and squid, shrimp, zooplankton, algae, and other marine plant life.


Male triggerfish maintain large territories with several females maintaining smaller territories within the male’s larger territory. Each female will dig a pit in the sand within their territory which will serve as a place to deposit the eggs.


These fish fall prey to larger fish and sharks. When hiding from predators, triggerfish lock themselves into small openings with their trigger fins and bite down on the coral or rock to ensure their safety.