Saturday 19 August 2017


That would be Rhinecanthus rectangulus the reef trigger fish [R pretty], the state fish of Hawaii. I say she be right pretty, tho she but little she is fierce and has been known to bite snorklers who get up its gills too much. I've had a poke at the idea of a state designating official whatevers: state beverage? [that would be kool-aid for Nebraska]. Call me exclusive but surely the state whatever should be characteristic and distinctive; whatever I may think, 7/50 states have chose the Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis as their official bird which shows a want of enterprise. Hawaii's choice of a state fish has been not without controversy notably because R. rectangulus is found all over the Pacific rather than being endemic to the 50th state. Being so widely distributed and living on coral, the species has accumulated quite a lot of genetic diversity but molecular taxonomists are happy that it is one species unlike giraffes and African elephants. They have designated a bar-code
of DNA sequence taken from the COX1 gene which is present in all things that look like Rhinecanthus rectangulus and different in all other animals. Different from Rhinecanthus aculeatus the lagoon trigger fish, for example.The bar-codes are being collected by BOLD the Barcode of Life Data Systems project which so far comprehends more that 5.5 million species.

Not all US states have scooped an official fish from the bottom of the barrel of state identity: so well done Ohio and Arkansas for wasting no legislative time on the matter. Many other states have compensated by designating both a freshwater and marine fish for most of its citizens to forget.

humuhumunukunukuapua'a features in the nostalgic / romantic ballad My Little Grass Shack sung here by Leon Redbone and Ringo Starr. I misheard the lyrics as I want to be with the commies and wahines that I knew long ago which seemed a bit unamerican: it's actually kanes and wahines which is Hawaiian slang for boys and girls: like Feen and Beoir in Cork. You'll see these designations on 'bathrooms' in Hawaii.

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