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. 120744)
CITES (Ref. 118484)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates 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=0.02692 (0.01706 - 0.04246), b=2.85 (2.72 - 2.98), 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.
Generation time: 6.5 ( na - na) years. Estimated as median LN(3)/K based on 1 growth studies.
Resilience (Ref. 120179
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Moderate to high vulnerability (54 of 100) .