Odonus nigerRÜPPELL 1836
Type Locality: N/A
Range: Throughout the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea south to South Africa and east to the Marquesas and Society Islands, north to Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef
Taxonomic Troubles: Originally described as Xenodon (Balistes) niger. The genus Odonus is currently monotypic.
Size: 50 cm TL (20 inches).
Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical marine
Difficulty: A very hardy marine, but aggressive and large, so difficult to keep with other animals.
Tank Setup: A very large tank is needed. There should be plenty of open swimming area but also several hidey-holes available, either live rock structures or artificial caves, like pieces of PVC pipe. A substantial current should be provided.
Feeding: Naturally feeds on plankton and sponge. Will usually take a variety of foods in the aquarium. Fresh or frozen plankton-like foods (like mysids) are especially appreciated.
Breeding: As with many triggers, the female guards the eggs. No known successful captive propagation.
Description: Color is quite variable, from greenish blue to blue, purple, or black. This, plus the distinctive body shape with lyre-shaped tail—not to mention the eponymous reddish teeth—make the fish easy to identify.
Notes: This fish is one of the planktivorous triggers. It is usually found in schools in open water on the seaward side of a reef where there is a strong current, feeding on zooplankton. Thus, it is less territorial than some other triggers, but it still does best alone or in a huge tank with other similarly sized fish. It is definitely not reef safe, as it will feed on small motile and sessile invertebrates. Like all triggers, it possesses a dorsal spine with which it locks itself into a crevice at night, making it all but impossible for a predator to extract it.