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.
The queen triggerfish reaches 60 cm (24 in), though most only are about half that length. It is typically blue, purple, turquoise and green with a yellowish throat, and light blue lines on the fins and head. It can change colour somewhat to match its surroundings, or if subjected to stress.
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. It is reasonably common in Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.
In the aquarium
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.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Balistes vetula" in FishBase. June 2012 version.
- Humann, P, and N. Deloach (2002). Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. 3rd edition, pp. 394.
- Claro, Rodolfo; García-Arteaga, Juan P.; Gobert, Bertrand; Cantelar Ramos, Karel (13 May 2003). "Tabla 2. Pesos y tallas mínimos legales en Cuba y proporción de peces con tallas inferiores en las capturas con chinchorros y nasas de la empresa pesquera de Caibarién" (pdf). Situación actual de los recursos pesqueros del Archipiélago Sabana-Camagüey, Cuba. Invemar. Retrieved 14 April 2011.
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