Balistes vetula  Linnaeus, 1758

Queen triggerfish
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Balistes vetula   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Balistes vetula (Queen triggerfish)
Balistes vetula
Picture by Johnson, L.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes (Puffers and filefishes) > Balistidae (Triggerfishes)
Etymology: Balistes: Latin, balista, -ae = crossbowman. In Greek, ballo = to throw (Ref. 45335).   More on author: Linnaeus.

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 275 m (Ref. 4727), usually 3 - 30 m (Ref. 40849).   Tropical; 28°C - ?; 43°N - 35°S, 98°W - 14°E

Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm 23.5  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 60.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5217); max. published weight: 5.4 kg (Ref. 4699)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-32; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 27 - 29. Greenish or bluish gray on back, orange-yellow on lower part of head and abdomen, with two broad diagonal curved bright blue bands running from snout to below and in front of pectoral fins, the lowermost continuous with a blue ring around lips; a broad blue bar across caudal peduncle, and blue sub-marginal bands in median fins (Ref. 13442).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Eastern Atlantic: Ascension, Cape Verde, and Azores (Ref. 7348); ranges south to southern Angola (Ref. 4420). Western Atlantic: Canada (Ref. 5951) to Massachusetts, USA and northern Gulf of Mexico to southeastern Brazil (Ref. 7251).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found over rocky or coral areas (Ref. 5217). May form schools, sometimes solitary over sand and grassy areas. Feeds mainly on benthic invertebrates (Ref. 4727). It preys on sea urchins by blowing water to overturn it and then attacks it where the spines are short (Ref. 9710). Excellent food fish but occasionally can cause intoxication due to the liver.

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Matsuura, Keiichi | Collaborators

Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

  Vulnerable (VU) (A2d)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Poisonous to eat




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5078   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02239 (0.01308 - 0.03830), b=3.02 (2.86 - 3.18), based on LWR estimates for species & Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245).
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.4   ±0.4 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (K=0.15-0.57).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (54 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Medium.