Swimmers along the Riviera are facing a new foe this summer, the triggerfish. So far several nasty bites have been reported in various parts of France – including Saint-Tropez – as the colourful and outwardly attractive fish attacks intruders.

According to an expert, the fish is not a fast mover, but behind those Russian lips sit formidable teeth used to break the shells of crabs and other prey. They can inflict a bite that can be dealt with by first aid.

The fish is far from being a tiddler, measuring on average between 30 and 45 cm (12-18 inches).

Pascal Romans, the expert, said that the triggerfish is not afraid of anything and will protect its territory and its nest without compunction.

FILE PHOTO: A triggerfish Wikipedia