Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

Fishes of Hawai'i

Family Balistidae - triggerfish & filefish

Cantherhines spp. - Filefish - `÷`ili wav.gif (916 bytes)
Description: lacks ventral spine, gray-brown-yellowish; shy filefish - plain, light colored (C. verecundus); barred filefish - grayish brown with indistinct brown vertical bars on body (C. dumerili)
Size: to 38 cm
Habitat: can be found in pairs, some species endemic to Hawaii
Diet: equipped with powerful jaws and sharp teeth they can often be heard crunching coral and assorted invertebrates
C. verecundus
C. dumerilii

Melichthys niger - Black durgon - Humuhumu `Ele`ele wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: torpedo shaped body with dorsal and anal fin at the caudal area; greenish-blue body with black longitudinal lines but can look all black; base of dorsal & anal fins have white or bluish lines
Size: to 30 cm
Habitat: usually found in the water column hovering above reefs
Diet: herbivore: grazes on bottom and drifting algae; occasionally feeds on zooplankton

Melichthys vidua - Pinktail durgon - Humuhumu Hi`ukolewav.gif (916 bytes) "Raw tail"

Description: torpedo shaped body with dorsal and anal fin at the caudal area; dark body, pinkish tail; dorsal & anal fin white with black margins
Size: to 33 cm
Habitat: usually found in the water column hovering above reefs but can also be found at deep depths (460 ft)
Diet: omnivore: feeds mostly on algae, but will also eat on detritus, crabs, sponges, fishes, octopus

Pervagor spilosoma - Fantail filefish - ÷`ili `UwÔ`uwÔ wav.gif (916 bytes) "Squealing `÷`ili"

Description: dorsal spine above eye; yellow-orangish body with black spots; orange tail with black spots
Size: to 31 cm
Habitat: common in shallow depths to 30 m; abundance varies during year.
Diet: omnivorous: primarily Gastropods, sponges, tunicates, heart urchins, and algae.

Rhinecanthus aculeatus - Lagoon triggerfish - Humuhumunukunukušpua`a wav.gif (916 bytes)
Description: similar to R. rectangulus (below) but no sharply defined large black areas
Size: to 19cm
Habitat: shallow outer reefs
Diet: small benthic organisms: algae, crabs, brittle stars, sea urchins and shrimp to name a few

Rhinecanthus rectangulus - Reef triggerfish - Humuhumunukunukušpua`a wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: black through eye, bending back to anal fin; black triangle at beginning of tail
Size: to 25 cm
Habitat: shallow outer reef areas
Diet: small benthic organisms and algae; crabs, peanut worms, shrimps, sponges, foraminiferas

Sufflamen bursa - Lei triggerfish - Humuhumu Umaumalei wav.gif (916 bytes) "lei on chest"
Description: "lei" behind eye; dorsal animal is brown-dark gray; ventral animal is whitish-light gray
Size: to 21 cm
Habitat: tropical reef zones, common from 10 to 300 feet
Diet: algae, gastropods, peanut worms, tunicates, shrimp and other small crustaceans.

 


Last update: 1/25/2005