Blue Throat Trigger Fish

Updated August 5, 2019
Author: Mike - FishLore Admin
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The Blue Throat Trigger fish goes also by the common names of Blue Chin Triggerfish and Gilded Triggerfish. Blue Throat Triggerfish have gray bodies and the males sport the blue throat and have yellow along the fin borders whereas the females lack the blue throat and yellow bordering on the fins. See the male/female pictures below.

Blue Throat Trigger Fish Blue Throat Trigger Fish

The Blue Throat Trigger fish is considered to be one of the least aggressive of the triggers and that is one of the reasons for their popularity in the aquarium trade. Cost wise they go anywhere from $40 to $60 with the males usually being slightly more expensive. These triggers can be considered quite hardy and are usually easy to get eating most fish foods. Standard saltwater aquarium foods like a good pellet food (like New Life Spectrum pellets) supplemented with frozen foods will do nicely.

In the wild the Blue Throat Triggerfish likes to eat copepods so if you have a refugium setup that has lots of these pods your triggers will love you for it. They sometimes go after smaller shrimps and hermit crabs. I'm not sure if they are interested in eating them (never witnessed it) or just playing with them. They are very personable, seriously. The triggers remind me of the freshwater oscars with their personalities. I've kept a male/female blue trigger duo for some time now and they always greet me when I come to the front of the tank, begging for food.

One interesting fun fact about them is that they like to lock themselves into a rock to bunk down for the night, usually upside down. They also like to make a grunting or clicking sound (infrequently) at night that is audible outside the tank.

Blue Throat Trigger Fish Blue Throat Trigger Fish

A good tight fitting hood is needed because if they get spooked they might do some carpet surfing.

Male Blue Throat Trigger Female Blue Throat Triggerfish

Blue Throat Triggerfish Care

Scientific Name : Xanthichthys auromarginatus

Common Names : Blue Jaw Triggerfish, Blue Chin Triggerfish

Care Level : Easy to moderate

Size : Up to 12 inches (30 cm)

Life span : 8 years, likely longer

Water Parameters : standard saltwater parameters - pH 8.1 - 8.4, Temperature : 76°F - 82°F (24°C - 28°C), Specific Gravity : 1.021 - 1.025, Carbonate Hardness (dKH) : 8 - 12° Even though studies have show their tolerance to lower oxygen levels, keep your tank well aerated.

Origin / Habitat : Indo-Pacific, East Africa to Hawaii

Temperament / Behavior : For triggers, these could be considered one of the more docile but they can still act like most other triggers occasionally.

Breeding : they are nest builders and males will guard the eggs until they hatch. Not much info on actual breeding attempts in the home aquarium.

Aquarium Size : 120 gallon minimum

Tank Mates : These triggers may become more aggressive as they grow. Similar sized species should do fine with the Blue Throat Trigger but watch the smaller shrimps and other crustaceans.

Diet / Foods : Primary diet in the wild is copepods. They are voracious eaters though and will go after nearly everything you put in the tank. Get a good pellet (new life spectrum for example) food, supplement with defrosted frozen foods (rod's foods for example) and they will do well. They also will eat dry seaweed if you have tangs in the tank with them and they tend to pull off the veggie clip from the tank wall.

Tank Region : All over, but like to cruise the top of the tank a lot

Gender : This is one of the easier species to identify male from female. Males will have the blue throat (or chin if you prefer) and their fins will be outlined in yellow. Females lack the blue throat and yellow outlined fins

Forum : Triggerfish Forum

Photo Credit : Photos copyright

References :

"Xanthichthys auromarginatus". FishBase. Ed. Ranier Froese and Daniel Pauly. November 2005 version.
Michael, S. W. (2001). Marine Fishes, 500+ Essential to Know Aquarium Species. T.F.H. Publications.

Site References :

Xanthichthys auromarginatus Xanthichthys auromarginatus

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