About Humuhumunukunukuapua’a


Humuhumunukunukuapua’a is the Hawaiian name for the “reef” or “rectangle” triggerfish. They typically range from three to five inches in length and are known for their distinct blue mouths and black, yellow, and blue stripe. They can often be seen spitting up sand as they use their mouth to sift for edible organisms. Humuhumunukunukuapua’as can also change the intensity of their coloration depending on the mood their in.

How to pronounce Humuhumunukunukuapua’a: who-moo-who-moo-new-koo-new-koo-ahhh-poo-ahhh-ahhh


The state of Hawaii declared the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a as the official fish of Hawaii in 1985. This proclamation expired after five years, but the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a was still the unofficial state fish. In 2006, the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a once again became the Hawaii state fish. This time legislation made this decision permanent. It is one of the smallest state fishes, and also has the longest name of them!

Facts & Trivia

  • Island: All Hawaiian Islands
  • Insider Tip: Don't forget to bring a waterproof camera or you won't be able to get a picture of this little guy!
  • Fun Fact: The name Humuhumunukunukuapua'a means "fish that grunts like a pig" because of the distinct noise it makes when confronted with predators, or a rival fish.
  • What to Expect: Small in size and quick swimmers, you may see one briefly before it swims off. Luckily, there is a large population of Humuhumunukunukuapua'as in Hawaii's waters.
  • Pop Culture: The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a has been featured in songs like "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua" and even Disney's High School Musical 2.