The Goldenback Triggerfish, Xanthichthys caeruleolineatus is about as rare as they comes when it comes to the family Balistidae. Jeremy Maneyapanda of Sea Atlanta is no stranger to uber rare fish so when we found out that he had the rarest Goldenback Triggerfish of all in their store, we had to pay him a visit. The GoldenBack Triggerfish, Xanthichthys caeruleolineatus, shares the genus with the highly desired cross-hatch and blue throat trigger as well as the curious Kiri triggerfish, but it is far more rare.
While Xanthichthys caeruleolineatus has a pretty wide geographic range, they are mostly found on very deep(300ft+) seaward reefs. Therefore, they are rarely collected by those who have the means. The number collected yearly can be counted on one hand, and there are years where none are collected at all.
The other issue of getting goldenback triggerfish into the aquarium trade is that they usually show up in very large sizes. The one at Sea Atlanta was a nice modest size of 8-9 inches or so, which is amazing in itself. The goldenback triggerfsh gem is currently in quarantine at SEA Atlanta, and is quite bold and friendly. We thank Sea Atlanta for letting us take a look at this reef-safe beauty. It’s amazing to drive down to the LFS and stare into the eyes of a rare creature that came from a depth Richard Pyle terms the “Twilight Zone.”