Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Balistidae
Etymology: Balistoides: Latin, balista, -ae = crossbowman + Greek, oides = similar (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 50 m (Ref. 9770). Tropical; 32°N - 24°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 75.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710)
soft rays: 22 - 24. Fish has a deep grove before eye; scaleless area around lips, continuing and narrowing posterior to corner of mouth; small forward-curving spines in about five rows on side of and a short distance anterior to caudal peduncle. Caudal peduncle compressed (Ref. 9770).
Indo-Pacific: Red Sea south to Delagoa Bay, Mozambique (Ref. 4420) and east to the Line and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia.
Occur in lagoon, seaward reefs (Ref. 1602) and sheltered inner reef slopes (Ref. 48637). Juveniles often associated with isolated patches of branching coral or rubble of shallow sandy protected areas. Adults occur singly or in pairs on the slopes of deep lagoon or seaward reefs (Ref. 37816, 48637). Often hostile towards divers and may attack unprovoked when caring for eggs (Ref. 48637). Feed on sea urchins, coral, crabs and other crustaceans, mollusks and tube worms. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Largest triggerfish; females are reported to have attacked divers when guarding their nest (Ref. 2334). Also caught with drive-in nets. Marketed fresh and dried-salted (Ref. 9770).
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
Threat to humans
Reports of ciguatera poisoning (Ref. 1602)
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.7500 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02275 (-0.09640 - 0.14190), b=2.97 (2.89 - 3.05), based on LWR estimates for species & family-BS (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.44 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (53 of 100) .