Blue Throat Trigger Fish,
Xanthichthys auromarginatus

Photos courtesy of sunfish11

Common Name: Blue Throat Trigger Fish, Blue Jaw Trigger Fish, Gilded Trigger Fish, Blue Chin Trigger Fish
Scientific Name: Xanthichthys auromarginatus
Size: Up to 11.8 inches
Distinguishing Features: X. auromarginatus has an oval shaped, laterally flat body that is a bluish-gray color with white scale spots. There are bright metallic blue rings around the eyes. The males can be differentiated by the yellow outline on the fins and tail as well as the distinctive bright blue splash across the jaw and throat. The male’s coloration becomes more dramatic with age.
Origin: From the Indo-Pacific, East Africa, and the Hawaiian Islands, to the north as far as Ryukyus and South to the Cocos-Keeling Atoll and New Caldonia.
Natural Habitat: X. auromarginatus tend to form loose groups often located near drop-offs and ledges a few meters from the bottom.
Feeding Requirements: In the wild these fish feed primarily on zoo-plankton, consisting mainly of copepods. In captivity they usually adapt quite easily to standard aquarium fare. They are quite accustomed to the idea that food should be floating in the water, as they find much of their food the same way in the wild. Feed a balanced diet including flake, pellets, frozen meaty foods, and herbivorous foods.
Difficulty Rating:
(1 = easy - 5 = hard)
I rate this fish a "1." This fish is suitable for the beginner aquarist. As with all fish selections make sure the fish is in good flesh, eating vigorously, and alert before purchase.
Aggressiveness Rating:
(1 = shy - 5 = nasty)
I rate this fish a “3.” Although considered a mild mannered trigger fish, they can become aggressive to tank mates. They tend to become bolder with age and size.
Captive Requirements: While these fish are quite hardy they still appreciate excellent water quality. Standard reef tank parameters are optimal. A tank of at least 90 gallons with live rock and several hiding places large enough to accommodate this fish is best. A secure top is recommended because when startled, these fish are excellent jumpers. I recommend purchasing a juvenile fish as they tend to acclimate faster to aquarium life than the often shy adult fish. In larger aquaria these fish can be kept in small groups consisting of one male and several females.
Optional Requirements: I found that this fish relishes seaweed sheets and devours them vigorously.
Reef Tank Compatibility: This fish is low risk to a reef tank inhabitants and generally considered reef safe. There have been several reports of larger X. auromarginatus eating hermit crabs, snails, and small shrimp. Those critters are not their preferred diet, so keep them well fed to minimize exploratory feeding behavior. Larger specimens may occasionally knock over corals and rockwork.
Notes: X. auromarginatus, like other trigger fishes, can hold its dorsal spines erect and use them to lock itself into the rockwork making it virtually impossible to remove. They usually sleep locked into the rock in a favorite hiding place.
When X. auromarginatus gets excited it can generate a grunting or popping sound that can be heard outside of the fish tank. They often make this sound frantically when out of the water.
Always cover an aquarium that is home to X. auromarginatus. They are notorious jumpers.
Further Reading: - Xanthichthys auromarginatus
Reefkeeping Magazine - Triggering a Response From Guests: The Genus Xanthichthys

Note: All of the above information has been compiled from various sources and should be used as a guideline, not a hardfast rule. Use caution when selecting animals for your own tank and research as much as possible before purchasing any animals. Remember that certain corals and fish are very hard to keep if their special requirements are not met. The information contained here is to help you make an informed decision. The author assumes no responsibility for any consequences that may arise from the use of this information.

Fish Profile: Blue Throat Trigger Fish, Xanthichthys auromarginatus by Lisa Miller -