The Titan Triggerfish

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The Titan Triggerfishgiant triggerfish or moustache triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens) is a fish is widespread in the Red Sea and in the Indian and western Pacific. Balestra Titano Triggerfish intotheblue.it

Populates coral reefs at shallow depths. It is particularly common in the lagoons of the atolls and in other environments sheltered by currents and undertow.

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The titan triggerfish is diurnal and solitary. It feeds on sea urchins, molluscs, crustaceans, tube worms and coral. It often feeds by turning over rocks, stirring up sand and biting off pieces of branching coral. This is why other smaller fish species are often seen around it, as they feed on the detritus and smaller organisms that are stirred up. Titan triggerfish have been observed being aggressive to other fish who enter their territory.

Description

It has the typical appearance of the Balistidae. The color is darkish in the central part of the body with a light caudal head and peduncle. On the eye and on the mouth there are two darker bands. The dorsal, caudal and anal fins are yellowish, brown or reddish with darker edges.

It reaches 75 cm in length.

Behavior

Known for its territoriality, it becomes rather aggressive and violent if disturbed. Attacks to divers were reported by females guarding the eggs. Balestra Titano Triggerfish intotheblue.it

The coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.

Coral belongs to the class Anthozoa the animal phylum Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones and jellyfish. Unlike sea anemones, corals secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons that support and protect the coral. Most reefs grow best in warm, shallow, clear, sunny and agitated water. Coral reefs first appeared 485 million years ago, at the dawn of the Early Ordovician, displacing the microbial and sponge reefs of the Cambrian.

Sometimes called rainforests of the sea, shallow coral reefs form some of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems. They occupy less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean area, about half the area of France, yet they provide a home for at least 25% of all marine species, including fish, mollusks, worms,echinoderms, sponges, tunicates and other cnidarians.

Coral reefs flourish in ocean waters that provide few nutrients. They are most commonly found at shallow depths in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water coral reefs exist on smaller scales in other areas.

Coral reefs deliver ecosystem services for tourism, fisheries and shoreline protection. Coral reefs are fragile, partly because they are sensitive to water conditions. They are under threat from excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), rising temperatures, oceanic acidification, overfishing (e.g., from blast, fishing, cyanide fishing, spearfishing on), sunscreen use, and harmful land-use practices, including runoff and seeps (e.g., from injection wells and cesspools).

Over 4,000 species of fish inhabit coral reefs. The reasons for this diversity remain unclear. Hypotheses include the “lottery”, in which the first (lucky winner) recruit to a territory is typically able to defend it against latecomers, “competition”, in which adults compete for territory, and less-competitive species must be able to survive in poorer habitat, and “predation”, in which population size is a function of postsettlement piscivore mortality. Healthy reefs can produce up to 35 tons of fish per square kilometer each year, but damaged reefs produce much less.

(extract from Wikipedia)

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Questo articolo è stato scritto il / This article was written on 01/08/2018