Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Balistidae
Etymology: Balistapus: Derived from Latin = ballistare, to throw (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 2 - 50 m (Ref. 9710). Tropical; 32°N - 24°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 30.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2334); common length : 26.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 5450)
soft rays: 20 - 24. Scales enlarged above the pectoral-fin base and just behind the gill opening to form a flexible tympanum; scales of caudal peduncle with 2 longitudinal rows of large anterior-projecting spines. No groove in front of eye. Caudal peduncle compressed. Color: dark green to dark brown with oblique curved orange lines on posterior head and body; an oblique band of narrow blue and orange stripes from around the mouth to below the pectoral fin; a large round black blotch around peduncular spines; rays of soft dorsal, anal and pectoral fins orange; caudal fin orange (Ref. 9770).
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Natal, South Africa (Ref. 4420) and east to the Line, Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and New Caledonia.
Occurs in coral-rich areas of deep lagoon and seaward reefs from the lower surge zone to at least 50 meters, Ref. 48637. Feeds on a variety of benthic organisms such as algae, echinoderms, fishes, mollusks, tunicates, sponges, and hydrozoans. Has a territorial nature. Eggs laid as one cluster in a shallow excavation on sand or rubble along channels. (Ref. 1602). Marketed fresh and dried-salted (Ref. 9770).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Spawning behaviour may involve loose aggregations and nesting occurs in channels. The eggs are laid in a single spongy cluster in a shallow excavation in rubble or sand. Hatching occurs at night (Ref. 37816).
Matsuura, K., 2001. Balistidae. Triggerfishes. p. 3911-3928. In K.E. Carpenter and V. Niem (eds.) FAO species identification guide for fishery purposes. The living marine resources of the Western Central Pacific. Vol. 6. Bony fishes part 4 (Labridae to Latimeriidae), estuarine crocodiles. FAO, Rome. (Ref. 9770)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Traumatogenic (Ref. 4420)
Fisheries: commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 1.0000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02951 (0.01555 - 0.05602), b=3.01 (2.85 - 3.17), based on LWR estimates for species & Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.42 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (31 of 100) .