Tag Archives: Athuruga

Triggerfish of the Maldives

I have previously wrote about Triggerfish and their undeserved reputation for being overly aggressive which you can read here:

After seeing 10 different species in the Maldives I conclude that they are not aggressive unless you accidentally swim into their nesting ground at certain times of the year.

I have seen 4 species of triggerfish at all the Maldivian islands I have been to plus others, however this year at Kuramathi I saw 2 new species! I photographed the following new species whilst snorkeling the house reef:

1. Wedge-tail Triggerfish

2. Boomerang Triggerfish

This brings the total number of triggerfish I have seen in the Maldives to 10!



Maldivian Marine Angelfish

Marine Angelfish are one of my favourite fish due to their vivid colour. The Marine Angelfish family contains seven genera and approximately 86 species. My personal favourites are the Emperor, Blue-faced and Regal Angelfish.

Here are some pics from my last 4 trips to the Maldives (Kuramathi, Vilamendhoo, Biyadhoo and Athuruga).

Blue-faced Angelfish

Emperor Angelfish (& 1 Juvenille Emperor)

Regal Angelfish


Why I love the Maldives!

Turquoise waters, pristine powder white sand, stunning underwater scenery – what is there not to like about the Maldives? It’s pure heaven on earth and my second home 🙂

I absolutely love snorkeling and diving and the Maldives has some of the best coral reefs in the world. I have been to the Maldives 4 times and slightly addicted. So far I have visited:

  • Kuramathi & Atoll Explorer
  • Vilamendoo
  • Biyadhoo
  • Athuruga

If you haven’t already been – I would certainly recommend it 🙂

Triggerfish – Undeserved bad press?

I am constantly reading forum posts about the dangers of triggerfish and people claiming they’re aggressive – but I think their reputation is over-hyped. Yes it is true that when triggerfish are nesting, they guard over their nests and will charge at any divers or fish that cross into its territory (the zone in a full circle directly above its nest). The Titan Triggerfish is much larger than other species and can inflict serious injuries to divers.

However, as long as divers and snorkelers respect their territory and remain alert there shouldn’t be any problem. I have seen Triggerfish on every trip to the Maldives I’ve been on and never had a problem. Sure I’ve come across some territorial fish and been followed by one Titan Triggerfish, but I have never been attacked.

Here are some of my photos of titan triggerfish – the largest and most dangerous. As you can see, I have got up close to many 🙂

Perhaps my favourite are the clown triggerfish due to their pattern (though I haven’t seen many of these) and the black triggerfish, I love the way the sunbeam has lit up the delicate pattern on the Black triggerfish.

The Orange Stripped triggerfish are fairly common on the reef and make good photographic subjects 🙂

Picasso triggerfish are quite common in the sandy shallow lagoon.

Red Toothed Triggerfish are found in shoals near the surface, but as they’re constantly moving in the current and they are the smallest of this species and always swim away, I struggle to get decent photos of these fish.

Lastly we have the Yellow Margin Triggerfish, which I always think are juvenile Titan Triggerfish. Even now I’m not sure which they are, but either way – they’re cute 🙂

So that is the majority of my triggerfish pictures from 3 Maldivian islands I have visited, hope you enjoyed.

Moray Eels

Moray eels (Muraenidae) tend to instill fear in people due to their sharp needle-like teeth and snake-like appearance, however I have always found them to be shy creatures that always retreat into the reef to hide. I have read some scary stories in scuba-diving magazines about divers who have been attacked by them, but I have never experienced any problems with this fascinating creatures. I have always found that if you respect them and don’t touch, they too will reciprocate and leave you alone.

Biyadhoo had a vast array of moray eels and giant eels that were constantly swimming in the open, which I loved as I was able to take lots of photos. Vilamendhoo had the largest range of moray eel species, including a pale white moray eel, however due to the stunning plate coral at Vilamendhoo, it probably also created more places for them to hide 🙂

Clams (Tridacna)

I love the stunning colour of clams, especially the vivid blue clams.  The larger the clam the more impressive. I saw a documentary called ‘pacific’ a six-part series which had a short clip about a protected reef called Kingman reef with an abundance of clams and huge giant clams. Unfortunately only research scientists are allowed to visit, but at least that keeps the reef safe and protected.

I have seen some pretty large clams, but I am still to see a huge giant clam. Can you spot which photos are the larger clams below?

The Tridacna genus contains two subgenera and the following species:

Subgenus Tridacna (Tridacna):

  • Tridacna derasa
  • Tridacna Gigas
  • Tridacna Tevoroa

Subgenus Tridacna (Chametrachea)

  • Tridacna Costata
  • Tridacna Crocea
  • Tridacna Maxima
  • Tridacna Rosewateri
  • Tridacna Squamosa

Butterflyfish love! (pairing)

I love butterflyfish (Chaetodontidae) as they come in so many colours and patterns. I try to capture a photo of every species I see on holiday. Vilamendhoo seemed to have the largest variety of butterflyfish out of all the Maldivian islands I have visited and I think I counted 27 species. I love the fact most species live in pairs. Many species pair for life and are seen swimming together in perfect synchronisation.  It just shows how happy they are! Very rarely you get to see small shoals of butterflyfish and this is great to see.

Enjoy some of the pictures I have captured over the years 🙂