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Picasso Triggerfish

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A popular species good for beginners

Picasso or Lagoon Triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus)

Image by Debbie Hauter

Guide Fish Care Rating:

1 Star

Family: Balistidae

Scientific Name: Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Other Common Names: Humu-Humu, Aculeate, Lagoon, Pig-Nosed, and Blackbar Triggerfish.

Rhinecanthus aculeatus is the true Picasso Triggerfish, not to be mistaken for the Rhinecanthus regtangulus species which is "tagged" with this same common name.

Hawaiian Name:

Hu-mu hu-mu nu-ku nu-ku a pu-a-'a.

Both the Rhinecantus aculeatus and rectangulus bear this famous long Hawaiian name. Roughly translated this name means "fish with a pig-nosed face". In short, this and most all other Triggerfishes worldwide are referred to commonly as Humu-Humu's, and sometimes incorrectly as Huma-Huma's, but these names do not actually identify an individual species one may have.

Identification:

The Picasso Trigger is a magnificent and very popular aquarium species that is easily recognized by its creamy grayish-tan and white colored body splashed with many distinctive bright blue and yellow fine-line, and golden, black and white wide-band type markings.

Distribution:

This species extends from Hawaii and the Marquesas Islands westward through central Polynesia, Micronesia, Melanasia, and the Philippines to the coast of China, through the East Indies, and across the Indian Ocean to the coast of Africa and the Red Sea.

Average Size:

9 to 10 inches.

Minimum Tank Size Suggested:

75 gallons.

Habitat:

This fish enjoys the shallower waters inside and outside the reef where lots of rocks and creviced structures are present to hide in and search for food from. To help to reduce aggression towards other tankmates, provide ample room and shelter to allow this fish to establish an adequate sized territory of its own.

Reef Tank Suitability:

Not recommended. This fish eats a wide variety of crustaceans and other invertebrates, with the exception of stinging anemones such as the Stichodactyla or Carpet species for example.

Characteristics & Compatibility:

The Picasso species behaves in the typical aggressive Triggerfish manor. However, it may be housed with members of the same genus, if they are all added at the same time and ample space and housing is provided. Same species juveniles can be kept together, but as they mature fights are likely to occur between them. The Picasso Trigger is best kept in an aquarium with other similarly aggressive species of the same size or larger, as it may opportunistically eat smaller fish.

Diet & Feeding:

A carnivore, this fish can be fed typical Triggerfish fares.

Suggested Feedings: At least 3 times a day.

Guide Fish Care Rating: 1 Stars

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