Reef triggerfish

The reef triggerfish (Rhinecanthus rectangulus), also known as the rectangular triggerfish or by its Hawaiian name humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa (pronounced [ˈhumuˈhumuˈnukuˈnukuˈwaːpuˈwɐʔə], meaning 'triggerfish with a snout like a pig'[1]), also spelled humuhumunukunukuapua'a or just humuhumu for short, is one of several species of triggerfish. It is found at reefs in the Indo-Pacific[2] and is the state fish of Hawaii.

The name humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa serves for both singular and plural descriptions. The fish shares its Hawaiian name with the Lagoon triggerfish, another fish that is also found in the Indo-Pacific region.

Reef triggerfish
Rhinecanthus rectangulus SI
Rhinecanthus rectangulus X-ray
Rhinecanthus rectangulus, conventional and X-ray images
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Balistidae
Genus: Rhinecanthus
R. rectangulus
Binomial name
Rhinecanthus rectangulus


The triggerfish's teeth and top lip are blue and the teeth are set close together inside its relatively plump mouth.

The fish has a small second spine, which it can use to lock its main spine into an upright position. Locking its spine while sheltering inside a small crevice makes it difficult for a predator to pull the fish out. When fleeing from predators, the triggerfish will sometimes make grunting noises, possibly a call to warn other nearby triggerfish of danger.[3]

The triggerfish can blow jets of water from its mouth, which help the fish find benthic invertebrates that may be buried under the substrate. Triggerfish can often be seen spitting sand from their mouths in order to sift through the material in search of edible detritus or organisms.

Reef triggers, up to 30 cm in length, are fairly aggressive and will generally not tolerate conspecific individuals in their general vicinity; thus the fish is often found solitary. This is particularly true in captivity. Triggers have the ability to rapidly alter their coloration. They can fade into a relatively drab appearance when sleeping or demonstrating submission, while their coloration is often the most vivid when the fish are healthy and unthreatened by their surroundings. They have also been known to bite and attack swimmers in their area, sometimes leaving marks often on the ankle area.

Reef trigger fish. (11111536093)

The lagoon triggerfish, which shares the Hawaiian name humuhumunukunukuapuaʻa with the reef triggerfish.

Wedgetail Triggerfish, juvenile - Rhinecanthus rectangulus (10913246303)

Juvenile reef triggerfish

Reef Triggerfish 1

Adult in Hanauma Bay, Hawaii

Hawaii state fish

The reef triggerfish was originally designated the official fish of Hawaii in 1985,[4] but due to an expiration of a Hawaiian state law after five years, it ceased to be the state fish in 1990.[5] On April 17, 2006, bill HB1982 was presented to the Governor of Hawaiʻi, which permanently reinstated the reef triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa) as the state fish of Hawaiʻi.[6] The bill passed into law on May 2, 2006, and was effective upon its approval.[7][8]

Decades prior to official recognition, humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa were considered a symbol of Hawai'i. The song My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii includes the line " . . .where the humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa go swimming by . . ."


  1. ^ humuhumunukunukuapua'a. humuhumunukunukuapua'a. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Accessed on The Free Dictionary. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2005). "Rhinecanthus rectangulus" in FishBase. December 2005 version.
  3. ^ April True or Fool Quiz. Maui Ocean Center (2015-03-31). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  4. ^ Hawaiian Bill 1982 Retrieved 2011-05-17
  5. ^ "Lawmaker seeks official status for humuhumunukunukuapuaa". USA Today. January 1, 2006. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  6. ^ HB1982 Measure History. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  7. ^ House Bill. Retrieved on 2015-05-18.
  8. ^ Hawaii may honor long-named fish - Weird news. MSNBC (2006-04-18). Retrieved on 2015-05-18.

Further reading

External links

Humuhumu nukunuku apua'a

Humu humu nuku nuku apua'a is a Hawaiian name for two species of triggerfish:

Reef triggerfish (also 'rectangular triggerfish', 'wedge-tail triggerfish') Rhinecanthus rectangulus

Lagoon triggerfish (also 'blackbar triggerfish', 'Picassofish', 'jamal') Rhinecanthus aculeatus


In Hawaiian mythology, Kamapuaʻa ("hog child") is a hog-man fertility superhuman associated with Lono, the god of agriculture. The son of Hina and Kahikiula, the chief of Oahu, Kamapuaʻa was particularly connected with the island of Maui.A kupua (demigod), Kamapuaʻa is best known for his romantic pursuit of the fire goddess Pele, with whom he shared a turbulent relationship. Despite Pele's power, Kamapuaʻa's persistence allows him to turn her lava rock into fertile soil.

He is linked with the humuhumunukunukuāpua'a, also known as the reef triggerfish and presently the state fish of Hawaiʻi.Lilikalā Kameʻeleihiwa describes him as “defiant of all authority, bold and untamed, he recalls the pig nature that is dormant in most people….Treacherous and tender, he thirsts after the good things in life--adventure, love, and sensual pleasure….”

Kealakekua Bay

Kealakekua Bay is located on the Kona coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 12 miles (19 km) south of Kailua-Kona.

Settled over a thousand years ago, the surrounding area contains many archeological and historical sites such as religious temples (heiaus) and also includes the spot where the first documented European to reach the Hawaiian islands, Captain James Cook, was killed. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places listings on the island of Hawaii in 1973 as the Kealakekua Bay Historical District.

The bay is a marine life conservation district, a popular destination for kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Lagoon triggerfish

The lagoon triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), also known as the blackbar triggerfish, the Picasso triggerfish, the Picassofish, and the Jamal, is a triggerfish, up to 30 cm in length, found on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Hawaiian name for the fish, humuhumunukunukuāpuaʻa (pronounced [ˈhumuˈhumuˈnukuˈnukuˈwaːpuˈwɐʔə]), also spelled humuhumu-nukunuku-a-puaʻa or just humuhumu for short (meaning "triggerfish with a snout like a pig") is shared with the reef triggerfish, the state fish of Hawaii.

This species has been studied in a range of research contexts, from locomotion to colour vision research.

List of English words of Hawaiian origin

The Hawaiian language has offered a number of words to the English language. Some Hawaiian words are known to non-Hawaiian speakers, and a few have also been assimilated into the English language (e.g. "aloha", meaning "hello", "love", or "goodbye", or "mahalo", meaning "thank you"). English also borrows some Hawaiian words (e.g. "ukulele," "mahimahi," and "muʻumuʻu"). Hawaiian vocabulary often overlaps with other Polynesian languages, such as Tahitian, so it is not always clear which of those languages a term is borrowed from.

The Hawaiian orthography is notably different from the English orthography because there is a special letter in the Hawaiian alphabet, the ʻokina. The ʻokina represents a glottal stop, which indicates a short pause to separate syllables. The kahakō represents longer vowel sounds. Both the ʻokina and kahakō are often omitted in English orthography.

Due to the Hawaiian orthography's difference from English orthography, the pronunciation of the words differ. For example, the "muʻumuʻu", traditionally a Hawaiian dress, is pronounced MOO-moo by many mainland (colloquial term for the Continental U.S.) residents. However, many Hawaii residents have learned that the "ʻokina" in Hawaiian signifies a glottal stop. Thus, in the Hawaiian language, "muʻumuʻu" is pronounced [ˈmuʔuˈmuʔu] MOO-oo-MOO-oo. The pronunciations listed here are how it would sound in Hawaiian orthography.

List of Hawaii state symbols

The following is a list of symbols of the U.S. state of Hawaii.

List of The Octonauts episodes

This is a list of episodes of the television series The Octonauts, which is a British children's television series, produced by Silvergate Media for the BBC channel CBeebies.The Octonauts had its US premiere on the Disney Channel in January 2012.

List of fish common names

This is a list of common fish names. While some common names refer to a single species or family, others have been used for a confusing variety of types; the articles listed here should explain the possibilities if the name is ambiguous.

List of fish of Hawaii

The fish species of Hawaii inhabit the Hawaiian archipelago in the central North Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of Australia. The islands are part of the State of Hawaii, United States. The state encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui, and Hawaiʻi. The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands include many atolls, and reefs. Due to Hawaii's isolation 30% of the fish are endemic (unique to the island chain).In total the Hawaiian Islands comprise a total of 137 islands and atolls, with a total land area of 6,423.4 square miles (16,636.5 km2). This archipelago and its oceans are physiographically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian subregion of Oceania. The climate of Hawaii is typical for a tropical area, although temperatures and humidity tend to be a bit less extreme than other tropical locales due to the constant trade winds blowing from the east.

The surrounding waters are affected by effluents generated and released from the islands themselves. Floating plastic garbage is a problem, and refuse from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch affects its beaches. Other pressures on Hawaii's fish population are its fishing industries and whaling until IWC's moratorium in 1986. In the last century, some commercially fished stocks have decreased by 80-85%.Due to its isolation, very few native freshwater fish species are found in Hawaii, and none are entirely restricted to freshwater (all are either anadromous, or also found in brackish and marine water in their adult stage). The seven native fish species regularly seen in fresh water are the flagtail Kuhlia xenura, the mullet Mugil cephalus, the gobies Awaous stamineus, Lentipes concolor, Sicyopterus stimpsoni and Stenogobius hawaiiensis, and the sleeper goby Eleotris sandwicensis. Three of the gobies, A. stamineus, L. concolor and S. stimpsoni, are famous for their ability to climb waterfalls to reach higher sections of freshwater streams. Several other species have been introduced to the freshwater habitats of Hawaii and some of these are invasive.

List of generation VII Pokémon

The seventh generation (Generation VII) of the Pokémon franchise features the addition of 86 fictional species of creatures to the core video game series in the 2016 Nintendo 3DS games Pokémon Sun and Moon and the 2017 3DS games Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, with two further species introduced in a 2018 update to the spin-off mobile game Pokémon Go alongside the 2018 core series Nintendo Switch games Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, adding to a total of 88. Since Pokémon X and Y, all Pokémon have been designed by a team of roughly 20 artists, led by Ken Sugimori and Hironobu Yoshida. Sun and Moon take place in the tropical Alola region, composed entirely of islands. Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! are set in the Kanto region, the same setting as generation I. Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game which uses the GPS and camera functions on the player's smartphone to display wild Pokémon in the player's surrounding environment. Pokémon number 722 Rowlet to number 802 Marshadow in the National Pokédex were released in Sun and Moon in 2016, and number 803 Poipole to number 807 Zeraora were released in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in 2017. Two Mythical Pokémon, Meltan and Melmetal, appear in Pokémon Go in 2018; Meltan appears in the wild in Pokémon Go when a Pokémon is transferred to Let's Go, Pikachu! or Let's Go, Eevee!, while Melmetal is only obtainable by evolving Meltan in Pokémon Go when the player collects candies. Some Pokémon species in this generation were introduced in animated adaptations of the franchise before Sun and Moon.

In addition to the new species of Pokémon, two new formes of Zygarde appeared in Sun and Moon—having previously appeared in the Pokémon anime: the dog-like "Zygarde 10% Forme" and mech-like "Zygarde Complete (100%) Forme".

My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii

"My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaiʻi", written by Tommy Harrison, Bill Cogswell, and Johnny Noble in Hawaii in 1933, was a hit song in the Hawaiian musical style known as hapa haole. One of the earliest recordings by Ted Fio Rito and His Orchestra reached number one on the charts in 1934. Honolulu Magazine listed it as number 41 in a 2007 article, "50 Greatest Songs of Hawaii". It has been heard in many movies and television shows and has been covered dozens of times, the title is sometimes shortened to "My Little Grass Shack" or "Little Grass Shack".

Orange-lined triggerfish

The Orange-lined triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus) is a demersal triggerfish. Although Balistapus is a monotypic genus, it is closely related to the genus Balistoides.


Rhinecanthus is a triggerfish genus from the Indo-Pacific. They are found at reefs, and all except R. abyssus are restricted to relatively shallow depths. They are among the smallest members of the family, with no species surpassing 30 centimetres (12 in) in length. They are primarily brownish, greyish and white, and have strongly contrasingly patterns in yellow, orange, blue or black. Adults of all have a relatively dark line (in most species intermixed with blue) that extends from the forehead down through the eye to the pectoral fin.


Triggerfishes are about 40 species of often brightly colored fish of the family Balistidae. Often marked by lines and spots, they inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with the greatest species richness in the Indo-Pacific. Most are found in relatively shallow, coastal habitats, especially at coral reefs, but a few, such as the oceanic triggerfish (Canthidermis maculata), are pelagic. While several species from this family are popular in the marine aquarium trade, they are often notoriously ill-tempered.


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