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The redtoothed triggerfish is a dark blue bodied fish, ranging up to 50 cm in length. The fins are all blue-green in color, having yellow and light blue trim. It has a lyre shaped caudal fin with a yellow bar between the lobes. Like all triggerfish redtoothed triggers have a retractable dorsal spine.
Their pectoral fins are quite small; as a result they steer mostly with their dorsal and anal fins, which makes them very maneuverable, and they also use these fins to move with an exotic type of propulsion reminiscent of a propellor. It is one of the most singular swimming styles in the ocean.
It inhabits open waters and current-swept seaward reefs between 0 to 35 metres (0–115 feet) and can often be seen in groups turning and circling just under the sea surface while feeding on plankton brought in by the current. Sponges are another part of their menu.
In the Aquarium
Odonus niger is a hardy member of a saltwater aquarium. It has a reputation as one of the most peaceful of the triggerfish. It is still however a triggerfish and can therefore not be easily kept in an aquarium with invertebrates, although careful selection of invertebrates sometimes can make it possible to keep in a reef aquarium. A single small Niger trigger can be kept in a 40 gallon aquarium, however because they are fast growing a larger tank should be strongly considered. For a full adult specimen a 200 gallon or larger aquarium is advised.
- Matsuura, K. (2014): Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research, Published online 11 Nov 2014.
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