triggerfish

triggerfish
/trig"euhr fish'/, n., pl. (esp. collectively) triggerfish, (esp. referring to two or more kinds or species) triggerfishes.
any of various compressed, deep-bodied fishes of the genus Balistes and allied genera, chiefly inhabiting tropical seas, having an anterior dorsal fin with three stout spines: some are edible while others are poisonous.
[1880-85; TRIGGER + FISH]

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Any of about 30 species (family Balistidae) of shallow-water marine fishes, found worldwide in tropical seas.

Triggerfishes are deep-bodied, usually colourful fishes with large scales, high-set eyes, and three dorsal-fin spines, which they use for protection. When a triggerfish is threatened, it darts into a coral crevice and erects its large and strong first spine, which it locks in place with the second (the "trigger"); when the trigger is later withdrawn, the first snaps back down. Though generally considered edible, some cause food poisoning. The largest grow 2 ft (60 cm) long.

Triggerfish (Balistes conspicillus).

Douglas Faulkner

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fish
 any of about 30 species of shallow-water marine fishes of the family Balistidae, found worldwide in tropical seas. Triggerfishes are rather deep-bodied, usually colourful fishes with large scales, small mouths, and high-set eyes. Their common name refers to the triggering mechanism in the first two of their three dorsal fin spines. The first spine can be erected by the fish and locked in place by the second, the trigger, which must be withdrawn before the first spine is released. The first spine is large and strong and, when locked upright, can hold the fish tightly in protective crevices.

      Triggerfishes are found among reefs and marine plants. Although generally considered edible, some cause food poisoning. The largest triggerfishes grow about 60 cm (2 feet) long. Common species include the queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula), a tropical Atlantic fish brightly striped with blue, and Rhinecanthus aculeatus, a grayish, Indo-Pacific fish patterned with bands of blue, black, orange, and white.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • triggerfish — [trig′ər fish΄] n. pl. triggerfish or triggerfishes (see FISH) [because depression of the second spine of the fin causes the first to snap down] any of various brightly colored tropical fishes (family Balistidae) of the same order… …   English World dictionary

  • Triggerfish — Taxobox name = Triggerfish image width = 250px image caption = Titan triggerfish ( Balistoides viridescens ) regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Actinopterygii ordo = Tetraodontiformes familia = Balistidae subdivision ranks = Genera… …   Wikipedia

  • triggerfish — /ˈtrɪgəfɪʃ/ (say triguhfish) noun (plural triggerfish or triggerfishes) any of various compressed, deep bodied fishes of the genus Balistes, and allied genera, chiefly of tropical seas, having an anterior dorsal fin with three stout spines. Usage …   Australian-English dictionary

  • triggerfish — noun any of numerous compressed deep bodied tropical fishes with sandpapery skin and erectile spines in the first dorsal fin • Hypernyms: ↑plectognath, ↑plectognath fish • Hyponyms: ↑queen triggerfish, ↑Bessy cerca, ↑oldwench, ↑oldwife, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • triggerfish — noun Date: 1849 any of various deep bodied bony fishes (family Balistidae, especially genus Balistes) of warm seas having an anterior dorsal fin with two or three stout erectile spines …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • triggerfish — noun any of several brightly coloured fish, of the family Balistidae, that inhabit tropical reefs, and have an erectile spine on its dorsal fin …   Wiktionary

  • triggerfish — noun (plural same or triggerfishes) a tropical marine fish with a large dorsal spine which can be erected and locked into place. [Family Balistidae: numerous species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • triggerfish — trig•ger•fish [[t]ˈtrɪg ərˌfɪʃ[/t]] n. pl. (esp. collectively) fish, (esp. for individuals or kinds) fish•es. ich any deep bodied tropical fish of the family Balistidae, chiefly of tropical seas, having three stout spines on the front of the… …   From formal English to slang

  • triggerfish —   Humuhumu (for various kinds, see humuhumu and entries that follow it).   Also: mukumukuwahanui, uwī uwī, uwī uwī lua …   English-Hawaiian dictionary

  • Triggerfish Twist — is the fourth book in Tim Dorsey s as yet unnamed series of books which were centered on Serge A. Storms. It was published in 2002.The book takes place in the summer of 1997, somewhere in the midst of the events of Florida Roadkill . Triggerfish… …   Wikipedia

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