Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Balistidae
Etymology: Balistes: Latin, balista, -ae = crossbowman. In Greek, ballo = to throw (Ref. 45335). More on author: Steindachner.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 3 - 60 m (Ref. 91172). Subtropical; 38°N - 30°S, 180°W - 70°W
Eastern Pacific: San Francisco, California, USA to Callao, Peru, including the Galapagos Islands.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 76.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 2850); common length : 50.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 9276)
Body compressed and deep; skin thick, with large, rectilinear, plate-like scales that are easily visible to the naked eye; mouth small; teeth strong and protruding, 8 in each jaw; dorsal fin with 3 spines and 26 to 28 rays; scales behind the gill openings larger than the neighboring scales; snout surrounded by scales (Ref. 55763).
Occurs in rocky reefs, boulder strewn slopes and adjacent areas of sand. Adults demersal; young pelagic (Ref. 2850). Feeds on sea urchins, small crustaceans and mollusks (Ref. 5227). Minimum depth 3m (Ref. 116844).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 119314)
CITES (Ref. 115941)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 19.2 - 28.9, mean 25.8 (based on 76 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5078 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02570 (0.01544 - 0.04280), b=2.87 (2.73 - 3.01), in cm Total Length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.3 ±0.37 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 (54 of 100) .