The picasso triggerfish is one of the most recognizable patterns of tropical marine fish, and it is one of the few that we occasionally see hybrids from. As the Picasso name implies, Rhinecanthus aculeatus has a wild and wacky pattern unique among reef fishes, and it occasionally ‘remixes’ with the closely related rectangular triggerfish.
Like R. aculeatus, the rectangular triggerfish also has an unusual color and pattern, and its super interesting to see the intermediate between these two closely related species. Normally the specimens of hybrid picasso triggerfish are quite small and immature, but a larger specimen recently collected by RVS Fishworld shows a more advanced development of the aculeatus x rectangulus hybrid triggerfish.
While still only a modest size of around four inches, this hybrid triggerfish specimen has much more defined patterning than we’ve seen before in this particular cross. The tail and facial markings are quite well developed, but with a unique golden brown base color that is normally grey in both parent species.