Balistes vetula

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Queen triggerfish
4987 aquaimages.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
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Family:
Genus:
Species:
B. vetula
Binomial name
Balistes vetula
Synonyms
  • Balistes bellus Walbaum 1792
  • Balistes equestris Gronow 1854
  • Balistes vetula trinitatis Nichols & Murphy 1914

Balistes vetula, the queen triggerfish or old wife, is a reef dwelling triggerfish found in the Atlantic Ocean. It is occasionally caught as a gamefish, and sometimes kept in very large marine aquaria.

Etymology[edit]

This fish is called cochino in Cuba,[1] and this is the probable origin of the name Bahía de Cochinos, which is known as the Bay of Pigs in English.

Description[edit]

The queen triggerfish reaches 60 cm (24 in), though most only are about half that length.[2] It is typically blue, purple, turquoise and green with a yellowish throat, and light blue lines on the fins and head.[3] It can change colour somewhat to match its surroundings, or if subjected to stress.[3]

Distribution[edit]

In the western Atlantic, it ranges from Canada to southern Brazil, and in the eastern Atlantic it is found at Ascension, Cape Verde, Azores and south to Angola.[2] It is reasonably common in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.[3]

Ecology[edit]

The queen triggerfish is typically found at coral and rocky reefs in depths of 3–30 m (9.8–98.4 ft), but it can occur as deep as 275 m (902 ft) and sometimes over areas with sand or seagrass.[2]

It preys on a variety of invertebrates, notably sea urchins.[3]

In the aquarium[edit]

As one of the largest and most aggressive of the triggerfish, this fish is rarely a good choice as a resident in a marine aquarium. It is however a hardy fish for those who can provide it with a proper environment. Because it grows so large and so quickly the minimum aquarium for this fish is a 500-gallon aquarium. Although some sources argue it can be kept in as little a tank as 125 gallons, when it achieves its adult size of two feet it is very unlikely to thrive, and will likely lead to premature death.[citation needed]

Its diet consists of invertebrates. In aquariums shrimp, squid, clams, octopus, scallops, and crab are all good choices of food.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Claro, Rodolfo; García-Arteaga, Juan P.; Gobert, Bertrand; Cantelar Ramos, Karel (2004). "Situación actual de los recursos pesqueros del Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba" (PDF). Bulletin of Marine and Coastal Research (in Spanish). INVEMAR. 33: 49–67. ISSN 0122-9761. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 February 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Balistes vetula" in FishBase. June 2012 version.
  3. ^ a b c d Humann, Paul; Deloach, Ned (2002). Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas (Third ed.). New World Publications. p. 394. ISBN 978-1878348302.

External links[edit]