Happy Monday, ocean lovers! Today’s featured marine animal is the queen triggerfish. Found in coral reefs in the Caribbean and Eastern Atlantic shallow waters, this colorful fish is large and aggressive.
These fish greet intruders with throbbing sounds produced by special membranes. At night, they use their dorsal spine to lock themselves into their burrows so predators can’t pull them out to eat them.
Queen triggerfish are dedicated hunters and prey on lobsters, crabs, shellfish, and urchins. To avoid the sharp spines of sea urchins, they blow water under it to flip it upside-down and expose the safer underside. Sometimes they even pick a sea urchin up by one spine to perform this flip.
The species is considered vulnerable because of hunting pressure (it is popular for human consumption), and there is a possibility it would be at greater risk if its sea urchin prey experienced steep population declines.
You can learn more about queen triggerfish and hundreds of other marine animals from Oceana’s marine wildlife encyclopedia.