Balistes vetula

Queen triggerfish | Old Wife | Turbot | Ol'wife
Balistes vetula
Balistes vetula, Belize, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Balistes vetula
Balistes vetula, Turks & Caicos, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Balistes vetula
Balistes vetula, Abrolhos, Bahia, Brazil, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Balistes vetula
Balistes vetula
Balistes vetula


Tropical Atlantic/Caribbean


Oval-shaped body and a strongly lunate tail, with trailing filaments on upper and lower tips, a broad blue band on tail base and a blue submargin on fin. Body greenish or bluish grey with series of dark oblique lines on sides, two curving blue lines from snout onto cheek and dark lines radiating from eye. Throat and breast often orange-yellow. Dorsal and anal fins high with submarginal blue lines, and dorsal fin in males with a trailing filament from top.


Max Size: 60 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 12-30.2°C

Depth: 2-275m

Habitat Generalization Index: N/A

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: Vulnerable

Occurrence: Infrequent (5.8% 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: Solitary (1 per transect)

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

Edit by: Joe Shields