The Picasso Triggerfish or Huma Huma Trigger (Whitebanded Triggerfish or Painted Triggerfish) is a very popular triggerfish probably because of its’ very interesting color and unusual patterning.

It is quite striking with the line markings of yellow, blue and black adorning a mostly white body. This fish will emit a ‘whirring’ sound when it is startled.

To maintain a peaceful tank that houses triggerfish, be sure to provide lots of room and a cave or rocks for a retreat area. Also house appropriate fish together that have similar needs and can hold their own. In this case larger protein eaters such as groupers, surgeonfishes, and basses, Some eels and puffers can be appropriate too.

The Picasso Triggerfish or Huma Huma Trigger are known to have a pretty good disposition for a trigger and are generally a peaceful fish.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium

Picasso Triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus

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Picasso in captivity

One of the slightly smaller triggers, the Picasso Triggerfish only grows to 9.8,” unlike other genus that can grow to 1.5 to 2 feet so they only need a tank that is 180 gallons, unlike the 300 gallons that a Clown Trigger needs. That being said they will attack many inverts except large stinging cnidarians like the carpet anemones. One of the other large anemones can be seen at 0:32 of this video. The clownfish knows he is safe from this aggressive trigger. As juveniles, they are quite mellow and will eat from their owner’s hand and act more like a dog than a fish! It is when the get older that they become very angry and should only be housed with fish of the same size or larger. They can be housed with others in the same genus if added at the same time into a larger tank. Provide open areas to swim and secure air-line tubing and electric cords because, like dogs… .they like to chew….. oh and they like to rearrange aquarium decor! Provide them with lightweight objects that they can move around for maximum entertainment.

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Tetraodontiformes
  • Family: Balistidae
  • Genus: Rhinecanthus
  • Species: aculeatus
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Maintenance difficulty:

The Picasso Triggerfish or Huma Huma Trigger is easy to keep. Triggers are among the hardiest of all marine fish.


Feed all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods. Best to feed small amounts several times a day. We generally feed squid, shrimp (the same kind people eat), mussels, and all kinds of chopped up fish.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:

Picasso Triggerfish are found in the Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to South Africa and east to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to South Africa. Commonly found in subtidal reef flats and shallow protected lagoons. Juveniles are secretive in rubble patches, adults swim about openly but are usually shy. They are a territorial fish.


In the wild they feed on algae, detritus, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, sea urchins, fishes, corals, tunicates, forams, and eggs. In the aquarium they should be fed all kinds of meaty marine foods, cut up fish, shrimp, squid, etc.

Social Behaviors:

Can be aggressive towards members of its own species and fish that are the same size.

Sex: Sexual differences:


Light: Recommended light levels:

No special requirements.




No special requirements.

Length/Diameter of fish:

Picasso Triggerfish or Huma Huma Trigger (Whitebanded Triggerfish or Painted Triggerfish) adults can grow to 30 cm (12 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:

A minimum 60 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong

No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom

No special requirements.


This fish is generally readily available.

 Picasso Triggerfish (Image Credit: Rob, Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 2.0 Generic)