noun \ˈtri-gər-ˌfish\

Definition of TRIGGERFISH

:  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

Illustration of TRIGGERFISH

First Known Use of TRIGGERFISH



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Triggerfish (Balistes conspicillus).—Douglas Faulkner

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its large and strong first spine, which it locks in place with the second (the “trigger”); when the trigger is later withdrawn, the first snaps back down.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.


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