Balistes polylepis

Finescale triggerfish
Balistes polylepis
Balistes polylepis, Galapagos, Ecuador, Photo: Graham Edgar
Balistes polylepis
Balistes polylepis, Gulf of California, Mexico, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
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Balistes polylepis
Balistes polylepis


Tropical Eastern Pacific


Body deep and oval-shaped, blue-grey with visible scales, and a small mouth at at the tip of the snout. First dorsal spine thick and elongate, first dorsal fin standing up like a crest, second dorsal and tail fin tall and used as primary means of propulsion.


Max Size: 76 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.6-30.2°C

Depth: 3-50m

Habitat Generalization Index: 2.77

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Frequent (11.2% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (2 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields