Found in lagoons and at reefs to depths of 50 m the Titan Triggerfish has a bit of a rumor about their behavior. Generally they are cool and leave you alone. The titan triggerfish is usually wary of divers and snorkelers, but at times when nesting they can be territorial and will guard their nest with vigor. The female guards its nest, which is placed in a flat sandy area, vigorously against any intruders. Their territory is getting larger by the surface. The area around the nest is roughly cone-shaped and divers who accidentally enter should be careful and watch out what the trigger does. Divers should swim horizontally away from the nest rather than upwards which would only take them further into the area.
The titan triggerfish is a solitary fish. It feeds on sea urchin, mollusks, crustaceans, tube worms and coral. They are the workers of the reef, often being busy turning over rocks, stirring up the sand and biting off pieces of branching coral. This is why you often see other smaller fish species around it who feed on the smaller organisms that are stirred up. They have also been observed being aggressive to other fish who enter their territory.
The threat which the triggerfish faces the intruder with is to hold its first dorsal spine erect. It may also roll onto its side, allowing it a better look at the intruder it perceives as threatening its nest. The titan triggerfish will not always bite, but can swim at snorkelers and divers escorting them out of their territory. The flesh of the titan triggerfish is sometimes.
Stay calm swim away horizontally and once away from their territory they will back off. They have been known to nip at a few divers leaving a just bruise and at times a Parrot size bite. They will show a threat display (Trigger rises) followed by erratic swimming, if ignored a dummy charge then a real charge and a potential bite.
Bites should be taken seriously as they are ciguatoxic. Ciguatoxin is a natural poison which is found on some tropical reefs. It infects fish which feed on marine algae. While harmless to the fish, even small amounts can have a harmful effect on humans.
As a snorkeler you will be observing these lovely creatures from the surface, so take a tour to the Bida Islands and you might find the Titan Triggerfish, there is quite an abundance of this species on our trips.