Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Balistidae
Etymology: Melichthys: Greek,melis, -itos = honey, a sweet thing + Greek, ichthys = fish (Ref. 45335). More on author: Richardson.
Environment: milieu / climate zone / depth range / distribution range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 4 - 60 m (Ref. 1602). Tropical; 32°N - 31°S, 30°E - 132°W
Indo-Pacific: East Africa south to Durban, South Africa (Ref. 4420) and east to the Hawaiian, Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef in Australia and New Caledonia.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 40.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573)
Occur in seaward reefs to depths greater than 60 m (Ref. 9710, 48637), with rich invertebrate growth (Ref. 48637). Common in coral-rich areas exposed to currents (Ref. 1602). Usually at moderate depths in small loose groups (Ref. 48637). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Diet consists mainly of algae and detritus but also takes in crustaceans, octopuses, sponges, and fishes (Ref. 1602). Oviparous (Ref. 205). Also taken with drive-in nets. Marketed fresh (Ref. 9770).
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
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. 123251)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates based on models
Preferred temperature (Ref. 115969
): 24.6 - 28.9, mean 27.6 °C (based on 692 cells).
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.6250 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02692 (0.01559 - 0.04647), b=3.04 (2.89 - 3.19), in cm total length, based on LWR estimates for this species & (Sub)family-body (Ref. 93245
Trophic level (Ref. 69278
): 3.4 ±0.39 se; based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Medium, minimum population doubling time 1.4 - 4.4 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (34 of 100) .