Thursday, 28 April 2016

X IS FOR XANTHICHTHYS AUROMARGINATUS : A-Z Challenge

Welcome to Day 24 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge.  My theme is:

Wildlife Encounters


There are about forty species of triggerfish many of which have very beautiful markings. Xanthichthys auromarginatus - or the Gilded Triggerfish is one such fish and I was delighted to see it whilst diving in the Philippines. 

Male Gilded Triggerfish


Blue Triggerfish
Hunting triggerfish are fascinating to watch. They use their fins to flap away debris and squirt water from their mouths in their search on the seabed for prey such as worms or crabs. 






Triggerfish have a reputation with divers as being aggressive. Their aggression is usually triggered (sorry) when they are protecting their nests. 


My husband and I were once attacked by Titan triggerfish when we inadvertently swam over an area of nests. We had fish coming at us from all directions. We positioned ourselves back to back so that we could kick out to prevent being bitten, whilst at the same time swimming out of their territory!


Apo Island, Phillippines






















Keeping a wary eye on a Titan Triggerfish
Normally it’s not difficult to avoid triggerfish attacks – but I do keep a cautious eye on Titan triggerfish when I see them.










The Gilded Triggerfish has a reputation for being far more docile.




See you tomorrow – I’m heading west and slightly north. Can you guess where and what the next animal will be?



If you want to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click HERE


44 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos! They look so nice wouldn't think they are so aggressive!

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    1. Thanks, Zeljka. It's the Titan (the one in the last photo) that seems to be the worst offender. None of the other triggers have been a problem.

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  2. That's cheating... going all Latin on us! Anyway... them trigger fish are cute and you should stay away from their breeding grounds. Imagine if they want to come into your bedroom in the middle of the night! ;-)
    Yellow billed stork... or we could go yakitty, yak yak! :D

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    1. Latin was the only way I could go, AJ! And you're quite right - it was our fault for swimming over their nests. :)

      Nice guesses for tomorrow - but is one of them right?

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    2. You and your fishes!! The only fish I know is fish and chips and there you've done it again... foxing me with another fish! ;-)

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    3. He he - you're not the only person who has said that to me! Sorry, mate - a passion is a passion. :)

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  3. It must be extremely difficult to swim back to back with another diver!

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    1. Liz, it was bonkers. We were swimming vertically in the water too - it would probably have made a hilarious video. :)

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  4. Such cool photos and what a great story. Nice that you knew how to get away safely!

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  5. Glad to hear you enjoyed this post, Yolanda. We just knew we had to get away! :)

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  6. Trigger Fish look like beautiful and interesting fish to spy on for awhile. As long as you are not near their nests.

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  7. They look so cute :) Lovely pictures! It must have been a bit strange for you while getting attacked by so many fishes suddenly...
    Srivi, The Piscean Me

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    1. Thanks, Srivi. We didn't realise we'd strayed into an area of nests until the titan triggers started attacking.

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  8. Like with much of Nature, the prettier the creature, the more dangerous -- at least that is what the ghost of Mark Twain says of the ladies! :-)

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    1. Ha ha - that is sometimes true, Roland!

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  9. What beautiful fish, aggressive or not.

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    1. Triggerfish are beautiful - there are others which are even more incredible - the Clown Triggerfish for example has amazing markings.

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  10. Such beautiful fish. We have them in the Caribbean, but none, that I know of, as large as the Titan! Nor have I ever been *attacked.*

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    1. Thanks, Bish. They're only potentially aggressive when they're protecting their nests.

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  11. Just beautiful photography! What a lovely fish!!!

    @Kathleen01930
    Meet My Imaginary Friends
    #AtoZchallenge

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    1. Thanks, Kathleen. These underwater photos were taken by my husband. The Blue Triggerfish photo and the Apo Island coral bommie have featured in my dive articles.

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  12. Something that I can never get over is the color under the sea. So vibrant.

    I went to a presentation by a marine biologist at Stanford last week and was horrified to learn that there's more plastic in our oceans than there are fish. And plastic doesn't bio-degrade; it only becomes smaller, so it's easily ingested by these beautiful sea creatures.

    I've enjoyed my visits to your underwater posts! Armchair traveling with scuba gear!

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    1. Underwater visibility can vary enormously - but the colours on coral reefs are stunning.
      Yes, plastic in our oceans is a huge concern and sadly I suspect the world has come to realise the problem far too late.
      Anyway, anyway - I'm delighted that you're enjoying my posts.

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  13. What stunning colors! I think I'd be scared of those triggerfish.
    @deb_atwood from
    Pen In Her Hand

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  14. They are gorgeous aren't they, Deb?

    By the way - I have been trying to leave comments on your posts for the last few days, but it keeps failing. (Hope you'll see this!)

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  15. There's no way you'll me down there! I prefer eating fish to being eaten by fish!

    A bit of A-Z nonsense!

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    1. He he - but even if I suffered a bite, it would still be worth it, Keith.

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  16. I think I'd get a little freaked out if I were attacked by fish. I see why you'd keep an eye out for Titan triggerfish.

    @WeekendsinMaine
    Weekends in Maine

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    1. It was an unusual experience, Karen but it taught us a lesson about being more observant with the smaller fish.

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  17. Those really are beautiful pictures and portray the serenity of the ocean so well :)

    Tracy (Black Boots, Long Legs)

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    1. Thanks, Tracy - happy to know you've enjoyed this post.

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  18. These photos are fabulous, Susan! I'm not sure if we have triggerfish here in the Caribbean, though the gilded one of the first photo does look familiar... Maybe it's just similar to a local species. Wow on those attacks! And they truly look titanic—wouldn't want to get bitten by that :)

    Two more posts and then the Challenge is done... Kudos to you for staying on track, my friend. It's been a pleasure to hitch a ride around the world with you this month :)
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

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    1. The praise should go to my husband for the photos, Guilie. For sure there are some species of triggerfish in the Caribbean. As for the size of the Titan - bear in mind perspective - whilst they are one of the biggest triggerfish, I was quite a distance from him.

      As for the challenge - this is my first time and once I got my second wind about halfway through I have found it very enjoyable. It will be strange to go back to my usual one post a week routine!

      I have also enjoyed your blog, Guilie, and hope I'll continue to do so. :)

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  19. OMG being attacked by fish! And that fish's name is a mouthful. Those pictures are so clear and crystalline. Love them.

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    1. Mad, isn't it? Fortunately this sort of thing is rare, provided you keep your wits about you! Glad you've enjoyed this post, Sandra.

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  20. These fish are beautiful but also spitfires...they should be called the Ava Gardners:) I am playing catch up...I am loving your posts!

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    1. Hey, Birgit - thanks for dropping by again and glad you're enjoying my posts.

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  21. Very interesting take Susan. No one else is doing it your way. You bring a whole new world of experience under the sea! The beauty is the myriad of fishes and colors of the surroundings. Thanks for sharing.

    Hank

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    1. Thanks, Hank. I wasn't aware that my blog posts were particularly unique, but it's nice to know so many of my fellow bloggers have been enjoying them. :)

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  22. Beautiful underwater photos!

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  23. What a beautiful fish! It really does look gilded! ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

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  24. Yes, it's a perfect name for this triggerfish, Liz.

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