Skip Navigation

Species Search:
FieldGuidesthreatened and/or endangered search resultsthreatened and/or endangered


Queen Triggerfish Balistes vetula


enlarge +

Queen Triggerfish
credit: Aquaimages/CCSA

All Images


Get Our Newsletters


Advanced Search

Family: Balistidae, Leatherjackets view all from this family

Description Balistes vetula, also known as the queen triggerfish, is a reef dwelling fish of the Atlantic Ocean. It is occasionally caught as a gamefish, and sometimes kept in marine aquaria.

It is a large fish that reaches 60cm in length. It is typically brown with blue lines on its fins and head. It can change colour somewhat to match its surroundings, or if subjected to stress.

The queen triggerfish is found on coral rubble, tops of reefs and in grassy areas, normally at depths of 3-20 M. It preys on a variety of invertebrates, notably sea urchins. It is reasonably common throughout the subtropical and tropical western Atlantic, from Trinidad west to Texas north to the Bahamas.

Habitat Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Ocean or bay shallows, Tidepools.

Range New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Florida, Texas.