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Hawaii State Fish
Humuhumunukunuku apua`a - Hawaiian Trigger Fish
Adopted on May 2, 2006
In1984/85, the tiny, colorful fish with the long name - Humuhumunukunuku apua`a, - (Rhinecanthus rectangulus,) was selected as the official State Fish of Hawai‘i after a popular vote and the approval of the State Legislature. It was selected after a high-profile campaign to educate the public about the kinds of fish that inhabit Hawaiian waters. The State Fish's official term of office lasted five years, and there was no re-election campaign. The reef triggerfish remains
the "unofficial" State Fish of Hawai‘i. On April 17, 2006, bill HB1982 was presented to the Governor of Hawaii which permanently reinstated the reef triggerfish
(humuhumunukunukuapua'a) as the state fish of Hawaiii.The bill passed into law on May 2, 2006 and was effective upon its
approval. On April 17, 2006, bill HB1982 was presented to the Governor of Hawaii which permanently reinstated the reef triggerfish (humuhumunukunukuapua'a) as the state fish of
Hawaii. The bill passed into law on May 2, 2006 and was effective upon its approval
Wedge-tailed Triggerfish can be recognized by its coloration. It has a diagonal black band from the eye to the anal fin. There is a black wedge-shaped mark on the caudal peduncle. This is preceded by two yellow v-shaped marks (white in juveniles). There are black bands between the eyes and a blue bar across the upper lip.
It is a sturdily-built fish, reaching up to 10 inches in length, with small powerful jaws and sharp, cutting teeth. The reef trigger shares its long Hawaiian name with a close, but less common relative, the lagoon triggerfish
The reef triggerfish is generally found in shallow outer reef habitats, often on surge-swept basalt reefs. It swims close to the bottom, searching for potential food items. It feeds on algae and reef invertebrates, including small crustaceans, worms, brittle stars, sea urchins, and snails. The reef trigger is not easy to approach closely and tends to keep a distance from observers, but its distinctive behavior and appearance make it easy to watch from a distance.
Hawai`i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-11.5
CHAPTER 5. EMBLEMS AND SYMBOLS.
[§5-11.5] State fish. The humuhumunukunukuapua‘a (Rhinecanthus rectangulus), also known as the
rectangular triggerfish, is established and designated as the official fish of the State. [L 2006, c
Taxonomic Hierarchy of the Hawaiian Trigger Fish
||Animalia -- animals
||Chordata -- chordates
||Vertebrata -- vertebrates
This is a list of official and *unofficial U.S. state fish: The only states lacking a state fish as of 2008 are Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, and Ohio.