Groupers do eat triggerfish. Unfortunately, triggerfish are relatively small fish, so many aggressive predators prey on them. Not only groupers but sharks and jacks also eat them. Even the tuna that visit the reef often also eat triggerfish.
Larger groupers eat medium-sized fish like triggerfish, medium sharks, rays, octopuses, small sea turtles,small baitfish, and crustaceans. They mostly eat crustaceans like woodlice, shrimp, lobster, and crabs. 85 % of their diet consists of crabs and crustaceans. The remaining 15% is the other fish.
The larger groupers, like the Goliath grouper, are usually called the garbage disposal of the sea. They have huge mouths and eat a lot of food and sea creatures. When they become hungry, they open their mouths and suck up all the fish that come in front of them. The small grouper eats tiny triggerfish along with small-sized fishes, octopuses, and small shrimp. They do not prey like larger ones, and they usually like to ambush their prey.
What’s a triggerfish?
The triggerfish is a brightly colored marine fish from the Balistidae family with beautiful marks all over its body. There are 40 kinds of triggerfish. They are a very popular aquarium fish. They are beautiful oval-shaped and small-sized fish. Their fins are large, but their tails are ornate. Their jaws are small but very strong, and their mouths are full of teeth. They are also predatory fish which eat small fish, urchins, mollusks, and crustaceans. Some triggers eat seaweed like algae and plankton. Their oval-shaped bodies have a large head but a narrow and small mouth. They are usually found in shallow coastal environments and can live up to 8 years. They love to stay in open water and island lagoons for food and mates. You will see triggerfish when snorkeling in many tropical locations very often.
What do triggerfish eat?
Triggers are a pretty-looking predatory fish. They have very powerful jaws and can eat hard items with their hard jaws. They can eat crustacean species like woodlice, shrimps, lobster, and crabs. They also like mollusks, such as mussels, oysters, and scallops. Triggers also eat sea urchins and echinoderms species.
There are different types of triggerfish, and not every trigger eats hard species for food. Some eat small soft fish while other triggers are vegetarians who eat algae or plankton. Algae are a kind of plant that lives underwater, like seaweed and plankton. On the other hand, plankton is a microscopic plant found in seawater. They balance the oxygen system in the water.
Are all Triggerfish Aggressive?
Not all triggerfish are very aggressive. They become aggressive under some circumstances. They are commonly small and small-sized triggerfish are not aggressive toward scuba divers or snorkelers, but they can be aggressive toward small species because of their strong jaws and teeth. Each jawline has four teeth on each side with the upper jaw that has an extra set of six plate-type teeth. Most fish that eat other small fishes are aggressive to some point, because they prey on them, hunting needs some aggression, or they will not be able to find their food.
They always like to protect their territories, eggs, and resting areas. They are not afraid to chase the larger fish to protect their nest and eggs.
The titan triggerfish from the Balistidae family order is larger. They can attack humans if they feel any danger around them. Do not take it lightly if you get any scratches from triggerfish or they bite, because it could cause an infection. You need to treat it immediately because it could have the poison called ciguatoxin in the bite. A triggerfish can sometimes bite human hands, so it is always recommended not to feed them with bare hands. Many predatory fish contain ciguatoxin.
They do not eat humans and will normally only act in a way that is defensive. If you avoid their nest area you will lower the likelihood, they will act in an aggressive manner. Their nest looks like a cone and avoid the area if you find any cone-shaped sand at the bottom of the sea.
Which one is more aggressive, grouper or triggerfish?
The grouper is a larger fish who live primarily towards Florida and the Caribbean. Both grouper and tiger trigger are predatory fish. They feed on small fish. Predatory fishes are aggressive because they hunt for their food, but both are not equally aggressive because groupers can be very large in size and occasionally, they can prey on sharks. Triggers are not that big, so they are less aggressive, but they are fast-moving fish, so they can attack fast. Groupers are slow-speed fish when compared to triggerfish. Groupers do their hunting process in a different way. Groupers have very big mouths that allow them to suck all the fish in front of them along with the water. On the other hand, both are usually calm, but they are defensive. Usually, they do not like to attack humans. Only goliath groupers would be likely to attack humans.
Is it Safe to Eat Triggerfish for Humans?
There is a myth that triggerfish are poisonous. There are 40 types of triggerfish and the majority of them are not poisonous. However, the clown triggerfish is known to be poisonous. It is also recommended not to eat any triggerfish that are more than five pounds, because an aged fish may have a higher probability of containing diseases or may have parasites.
The same goes for groupers also. It is not recommended to eat large-sized groupers. Grouper contains a large amount of mercury. Mercury is very bad for a pregnant woman, but triggerfish do not contain mercury. So, two-to-three-pound triggerfish are OK to eat, but all other kinds of triggerfish meat are very tasty. While cutting the fish for cooking, you need to be very careful because it has very sharp teeth, and fins which are also very sharp.