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Reef triggerfish

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Humuhumunukunukupuaa" redirects here. For the Rhinecanthus aculeatus of the same
name, see Lagoon triggerfish.
Reef Triggerfish

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Balistidae
Genus: Rhinecanthus
Species: R. rectangulus
Binomial name
Rhinecanthus rectangulus
(Bloch & J. G. Schneider, 1801)
The reef, rectangular, or wedge-tail triggerfish, also known by
its Hawaiian name, humuhumunukunukupuaa (pronounced [humuhumunukunukuwapuw
]), also spelled Humuhumunukunukuapua'a or just humuhumu for short; meaning
"triggerfish with a snout like a pig."
is one of several species of triggerfish. Classified
as Rhinecanthus rectangulus, it is endemic to the salt water coasts of various central and
south Pacific Oceanislands. It is often asserted that the Hawaiian name is one of the longest
words in the Hawaiian language and that "the name is longer than the fish."
1 Description
2 Distribution
3 Hawaii state fish
4 In popular culture
5 Notes
6 References
The triggerfish's teeth and top lip are blue and the teeth are set close together inside its
relatively chubby mouth. It has a small second spine, which it can use to lock its main spine into
an upright position. The triggerfish can wedge itself into small crevices and lock its spine to
make it extremely difficult to get out. In addition, when fleeing from predators, the triggerfish will
sometimes make grunting noises, possibly a call to warn other nearby triggerfish of
One particularly interesting aspect of the fish's behavior is the ability to blow jets of
water from its mouth. These jets help the fish find benthic invertebrates that may be buried
under the substrate. Triggerfish can often be seen spitting sand from their mouths in order to sift
through the material in search of edible detritus or organisms. Reef triggers are fairly aggressive
and will generally not tolerate conspecific individuals in their general vicinity; thus the fish is
often found solitary. This is particularly true in captivity. Triggers have the remarkable ability to
rapidly alter their coloration. They can fade into a relatively drab appearance when sleeping or
demonstrating submission, while their coloration is often the most vivid when the fish are healthy
and unthreatened by their surroundings.
The reef triggerfish is distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region. It is especially prominent in
the coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaii state fish[edit]

Humuhumunukunukuapua'a atKealakekua Bay, Hawaii
The reef triggerfish was originally designated the official fish of Hawaii in 1985,
but due to an
expiration of a Hawaiian state law after five years, it ceased to be the state fish in 1990.
April 17, 2006, bill HB1982 was presented to the Governor of Hawaii, which permanently
reinstated the reef triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuapuaa) as the state fish of Hawaii.
The bill
passed into law on May 2, 2006, and was effective upon its approval.

In popular culture[edit]
A reef triggerfish appeared (in animated form) in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode
"Rascals". The image of the fish is used as the avatarfor the Enterprise children's classroom
Reef triggerfish are the focal sea creature in episode 49 of the Octonauts animated children's
Mentioned in the 2008 motion picture Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

1. Jump up^ The Free Dictionary
2. Jump up^ Hawaiian Marine Life Profile - Maui Ocean Center
3. Jump up^ Hawaiian Bill 1982 Retrieved 2011-05-17
4. Jump up^ "Lawmaker seeks official status for humuhumunukunukuapuaa". USA Today.
January 1, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
5. Jump up^ HB1982 Measure History
6. Jump up^ House Bill
7. Jump up^ Hawaii may honor long-named fish - Weird news -
8. Jump up^
"Rhinecanthus rectangulus". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 30 January
"Marine Life Profile: Reef Triggerfish" (PDF). Waikiki Aquarium. Retrieved 24 November 2011.
Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Rhinecanthus rectangulus" in FishBase.
December 2005 version.
"Legislation to permanently establish as Hawaii state fish". Archived from the original on 10
July 2006. Retrieved 28 January 2006.
"Hawaii may honor fish with long name". Retrieved 18 April 2006.
Symbols of Hawaii
Fish of the Pacific Ocean
Fish of Hawaii
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This page was last modified on 19 October 2014 at 06:48.
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