Triggerfish (Balistidae)

Triggerfish is a beautiful fish with an unusual body structure. They belong to the order Iglobryuhoobraznyh and relationship to unicorns and kuzovkina. From the first they share resemblance, but from the second the internal structure.

All species of triggerfish in a separate family synorogenic, numbering 30 species.

Triggerfish – fish of medium size, body length ranges from 15 to 50 cm, the largest species of it can reach 1 m. These fish have a very big head, little elongated and narrowing at the tip, the body, in turn, tapers to an end, so the body of the trigger has a rounded-diamond shape. The pectoral fins are relatively small, located high. The caudal fin is often a simple rounded shape, but some species may have a long yarn gives it a lyrate form.

Anal and rear dorsal fin is related to tail, but the front dorsal fin has a very special structure. Its rays are prickly, and two of them have become very hard and sharp thorns: the front spike is long, the back is much shorter than the front and back. Therefore, both of the spike – stabbing and thrust are a single structure. In repose thorns tucked away in a deep recess on the back, triggerfish raises them only in case of danger. From these spikes and the name of these fish. In addition, sharp spikes of smaller size is in the ventral fins, they are cleaned in a special pocket of skin.

Mouth triggerfish is very small, but the lips are very plump and meaty. The triggerfish’s teeth are arranged in two rows: outer row 8 of the large and long teeth, and a small 6, which propped up the outer. This structure of the teeth associated with specific food of these fish. Another distinctive feature is the rather large eyes, which, although located on the sides of my head, but relegated almost to the back line.

These specific features of the structure of trigger is easy to recognize among other fishes. But they have another surprising feature. The fact that the scales of trigger a very large and stiff, it is more like a plate than scales. Separate scales overlap each other and form a one-piece frame that is very similar to the shell Kuzovkov. Additionally, the tail of the scales can have spikes and bumps. When triggerfish dies, the soft tissues decomposed, and the skeleton remains and becomes like a box in the shape of a fish.

Painting triggerfish colorful, dominated by white, gray, black color interspersed with blue, yellow, orange, red. The pattern consists of several large fields separated by narrow bands and spots. Krasnopolye triggerfish almost monochrome dark blue, but whatever it was, all triggerfish are very elegant and beautiful. All species of triggerfish (except for a few of the genus Xanthichthys) is no sexual dimorphism – males and females look the same.

Habitat triggerfish covers tropical and subtropical zones of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Gray triggerfish in addition lives in temperate waters, its natural habitat on the southern reaches of Argentina and North to Ireland, not uncommon to meet him in the Mediterranean and Black seas. Triggerfish live in the shallow waters, they often can be found near coral reefs and in the shallows of the tropical atolls, the only species that inhabits away from the coast is golubovtsy ocean triggerfish.

To keep these fish singly, the nature of them is quite strict, they are permanent areas of habitat that are protected from the other dogs. For locomotion they use the pectoral fins, and tail are only sprint leap. With the help of a swim bladder, they can produce grunting sounds.

All kinds of trigger spetsializiruyutsya in feeding on solid food, that’s why their teeth are so “fortified”. The basis of food is coral, sea urchins, crabs, clams. All of these animals have hard shells or skeletal elements that triggerfish can easily bite your own teeth are like wire cutters. However, the trigger is not greedy and never swallow prey whole, and bite off a little bit. Among them are vegetarians: rangeworthy triggerfish and spiny rinekant feed on algae and Krasnopolye triggerfish – plankton.

Triggerfish occupy separate areas, but on the territory of the male may have several females. The eggs they lay in the twilight, often in new moon, when the night lighting is minimal. Triggerfish blow with the sandy soil a deep pit, in which lay small adhesive eggs. In the future, they remain to guard the nest, and the protected zone extends up, not breadth. Triggerfish are very eager to protect the eggs, immediately attacking anyone who dares to approach him. Bold fish attack not only the same size, but on larger animals. So, the divers in case of an attack, it is recommended to sail in the direction from the nest (not upwards), or a triggerfish can be very bite person. Justify these fish only what they warn about the attack in advance, making the “headstand”. The most aggressive are considered barbed rinekant and golubiy balistol. Have golubyatnikova ocean triggerfish eggs pelagic (free-floating), these fish do not take care of their offspring.

Triggerfish is well protected from attacks, so dying in the teeth of other animals not so often. For protection they use two strategies. Free swimming they go from harassment jerk and straighten their spines, so not every fish wants to catch this “epee”. In addition triggerfish whenever possible, try to hide in the crevices and caves of the reef. Once in a bottleneck triggerfish spreads all her spikes and anchors tightly in the crevice to get him out of there impossible.

For a person triggerfish economic value have, in some places the fishermen do not like these fish for the “little con” – triggerfish devour the bait with the hook in small pieces, and themselves on the hook not across. Some types because of the beautiful painting kept in marine aquaria, at the same time, divers should be careful close to these fish, although the mortal danger they represent.

Gray triggerfish grows up to 60 cm in length and gaining weight 2-3 kg. the lifestyle and appearance of this fish is typical for all kinds of triggerfish, but unlike their countrymen gray triggerfish gray uniform, blue-Selena or brown (in other species it is more colorful).

Adult fish to keep alone, or gather a small pack. They prefer rocky ground or dense Bush. In such places there are a lot of clams, which are food for the fish. For cracking hard shells gray triggerfish has strong teeth in structure and appearance resembling the teeth of blue-fin belisted.

The fish has a high rounded body. The dorsal and anal fins are set far back, pectoral fins are small. The eyes are located high on the body. Gray triggerfish is extremely tough skin, the texture of which resembles concrete. This armor can handle the protection of fish against medium-sized predators.

Another powerful weapon used ponorogo for defensive purposes is a large and sharp thorn, which grows near the dorsal fin. In nature the fish is calm, and not attack a potential enemy, trying to stab it. On the contrary, she calmly gives to himself to approach the divers. An inexperienced diver may pay a price for trying to pet the fish, because the spike is very sharp and the prick painful.

The gray triggerfish is found everywhere on the Atlantic coast. Often found in the Mediterranean and the Black sea, which received its second name the Mediterranean triggerfish. The breeding period coincides with the Mediterranean summer. During spawning, the female lays eggs in a specially constructed hole in the sand, after which the clutch is to protect the male until the larvae which will take their first swim.

Despite the thorn and firm the skin, making the fish not the most convenient object of commercial fishery, in some countries, gray triggerfish is considered an exceptional delicacy. Although the meat itself is poisonous. Widespread recreational fishing on this fish. Found also in large public aquariums.

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