Friday, November 8, 2019

Fish Pic Friday - Triggerfish

This post prompted by news that a Maryland angler caught a new state record triggerfish: Ocean City Man Reels In State Record Triggerfish
While fishing 16 miles off the coast of Ocean City, resident Mike Glyphis set a new Maryland state record for the gray triggerfish he reeled in that weighed 5.6 pounds. He told state officials that he thought his line was snagged on debris but after wrestling with it a bit, his line "took off." After a few minutes of fighting the fish, the veteran angler pulled up the gray triggerfish.
But you didn't really want to see Mike, AmIright?
"This was something I never expected," he told the Maryland DNR.

The catch broke a record held almost exactly five years by another Ocean City resident, Wayne Gower, who caught a 5.2-pound triggerfish Oct. 31, 2014.
And more about triggerfish:
Triggerfishes are about 40 species of often brightly colored fish of the family Balistidae. Often marked by lines and spots, they inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with the greatest species richness in the Indo-Pacific. Most are found in relatively shallow, coastal habitats, especially at coral reefs, but a few, such as the oceanic triggerfish (Canthidermis maculata), are pelagic. While several species from this family are popular in the marine aquarium trade, they are often notoriously ill-tempered.

And those teeth can really bite.
Triggerfish have an oval-shaped, highly compressed body. The head is large, terminating in a small but strong- jawed mouth with teeth adapted for crushing shells. The eyes are small, set far back from the mouth, at the top of the head. The anterior dorsal fin is reduced to a set of three spines. The first spine is stout and by far the longest. All three are normally retracted into a groove. Characteristic of the order Tetraodontiformes, the anal and posterior dorsal fins are capable of undulating from side to side to provide slow movement and comprise their primary mode of propulsion. The sickle-shaped caudal fin is used only to escape predators.
And why are they called triggerfish?
As a protection against predators, triggerfish can erect the first two dorsal spines: The first (anterior) spine is locked in place by erection of the short second spine, and can be unlocked only by depressing the second, “trigger” spine, hence the family name “triggerfish”.
I learned about triggerfish as a teenager working in a tropical fish store, where, early in the era of salt water tanks, a Clown Triggerfish was once the most expensive fish in the store, at an unheard of price of $1,000.

UPDATE: The Wombat is back in business, with Rule Five Sunday: Black Widow.

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