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Injury to divers in tropical and subtropical waters from bites by triggerfishes have not been documented in the medical literature or in books and papers dealing with dangerous marine animals. Reports are given of five cases of divers sustaining bites from triggerfishes. The most dangerous of the triggerfishes are the tropical Indo-Pacific species Pseudobalistes fuscus and Balistotoides viridescens. Ordinarily these two fishes are very shy, but females guarding a nest can become extremely aggressive. Divers should not continue to swim toward a large triggerfish that does not move away upon their approach. Divers should also be warned not to feed triggerfishes by hand, as even small species are capable of inflicting bite wounds on the hands.
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© 1990 Wilderness Medical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.