The black triggerfish, also known as the black durgon (Melichthys niger), is a blimp-shaped triggerfish with vivid white lines running down its dorsal and anal fins. One of the least threatening Triggerfish is the interesting Black Triggerfish. The Black Triggerfish is circumtropical, which means it may be found in oceans all around the world at similar tropical latitudes.

Black triggerfish breed in its habitat

Off the coasts of Hawaii and Polynesia, as well as the East Indies and the Indian Ocean, it can be found. Each Black Triggerfish has its own home amid the coral and rock formations just beyond the reef in the wild, but they will emerge and assemble in big schools near the top of the water to feed on current moving zooplankton and algae.

Distribution and Habitat

  • The black triggerfish can also be found along Africa’s southern coast.
  • The black triggerfish can be found in the Indo-Pacific and Red Seas.
  • Circumtropical. From Hawaii, across Polynesia, and over the Indian Ocean to the East Indies.
  • This species can be found in open waters, shallows, and exposed reefs in depths ranging from 5 to 35 meters.
  • They appear to prefer inland/coastal areas in the Ascension Island region, where they are unusually abundant.

Body Structure

It looks to be completely dark from afar. However, with proper illumination, it can be seen that it is clearly mottled dark-blue/green color, with orange toward the front of the head. Black triggerfish can change color in response to their surroundings. There are faint, light blue-turquoise colored lines on the face and around the eyes. There are prominent white lines running down the base of both the soft dorsal and anal fins. In the natural, the body seems to be black, but once out of the water and exposed to light, you can notice that the body is a dark blue to blue-green color with horizontal markings.

This species, like all Triggerfish, has a hard spiky dorsal fin that is carried flat against the fish’s body in a particular slot but may be locked into place if necessary. The Triggerfish uses its spine to keep itself in place when sleeping, making it difficult for predators to drag them out of hiding. The spine can also be utilized to ward off predators and as a weapon. It grows to a length of 12 inches on average but can reach up to 18 inches.

Black triggerfish being caught in nwater


The interesting Black Triggerfish is one of the most peaceful Triggerfish and is relatively easy to keep. These clever fish can not only learn to eat from your hand, but they can also communicate in a variety of ways. The sounds or growls made by Black Triggerfish are intensified by their swim bladder. The Black Triggerfish is a very active fish that requires a lot of space to move around and a lot of hiding places. In fact, if this species is placed in a smaller space, it is far more likely to be hostile. The male and female Black Triggerfish have no discernible sexual distinctions.


Black Triggerfish find mates, lay eggs, and fertilize them. The eggs are then attached to a nest dug into the seafloor until they are ready to hatch. They will hide their eggs with broken shells if the substrate is too hard. Both men and females guard the eggs, however, females do a better job of it; both males and females are aggressive when guarding their nest.

A black triggerfish in the water


As opportunistic omnivores, Small fish and squid are their main sources of food. Shrimp, zooplankton, algae, and other marine plant life, as well as marine algae and vitamin-rich herbivore diets, are all good sources of vitamin D. Triggerfish can even be taught to eat from your palm at the tank’s surface.



Kehinde Ezekiel is a freelance writer who has covered many topics, including home improvement, gardening, pets, tech, and parenting.

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