One of the most exotically patterned fish in the ocean, clown triggerfish can lock their dorsal fins to increase thier size and create a formidable prickly defense against predators. They have powerful jaws for eating crustaceans and use their puckered lips to blow jets of water at sea urchins, turning them over and exposing their tender underbelly—the triggerfish’s favorite snack!
REGAL BLUE TANG
The blue tang is a member of the surgeonfish family. They are easily recognized by their blue body with black markings and a yellow triangle on the tail. They have a blade on both sides of the tail stem, also known as caudal peduncle, and venomous spines!
The foxface rabbitfish is a beautiful bright yellow. Their head and body’s front portion is striped black-brown and white. The foxface rabbitfish’s long snout-like mouth is used for feeding on algae and other vegetation—particularly handy for reaching into crevices! Caution should be used with this fish, as all of the dorsal, pectoral, and anal fins have venomous spines.
Clownfish belong to a group of small, brightly colored fish called damselfish. These inshore reef dwellers have developed a curious and potentially deadly relationship with the sea anemone. The clownfish will leave the safety of the anemone’s tentacles and swim out among the nearby reef. Its brilliant colors attract larger fish, who, lured by the thought of a meal, follow it back to the anemone and are stung by the anemone’s tentacles. The anemone then consumes the fish and the clownfish feeds on the remains.
Some butterflyfish have large prominent false eyespots on their tail that act to confuse other fish. Predators can’t tell if the butterflyfish is coming or going, and would be victims may think they are escaping when in fact they are swimming straight towards the real eyes and mouth!
The sohal surgeonfish, or sohal tang, is a striking blue and white horizontal striped fish. Like other tangs, the sohal tang is compressed laterally, making it extremely maneuverable and fast along the reef. It has a horizontal blade-like spine along the base of the tail on both sides, which folds into the fish, pointing anteriorly towards the head. During defense and aggression, tangs flick the spine at other fish or intruders, causing physical harm. The surgeonfish is named for this scalpel-like spine.