Balistoides viridescens (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Titan triggerfish
Balistoides viridescens
photo by Cook, D.C.

Family:  Balistidae (Triggerfishes)
Max. size:  75 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; marine; depth range 0 - 60 m
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea, East Africa eastward through northern Australia reaching to Line and Tuamotu islands, north to southern Japan.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 3-3; Dorsal soft rays (total): 24-26; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 22-24. Fish has a deep grove before eye; scaleless area around lips, continuing and narrowing posterior to corner of mouth; small forward-curving spines in about five rows on side of and a short distance anterior to caudal peduncle. Caudal peduncle compressed (Ref. 9770). Description: Characterized further by greyish green body color with pale scale margins, forming cross-hatched effect; most of cheek covered by yellow-green patch; caudal peduncle whitish and adjacent posterior body; upper lip with dark green band above; median fins with dark margins; caudal fin rounded (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Recorded from lagoons, seaward reefs (Ref. 1602) and sheltered inner reef slopes (Ref. 48637). Juveniles often associated with isolated patches of branching coral or rubble of shallow sandy protected areas. Adults occur singly or in pairs on the slopes of deep lagoon or seaward reefs (Ref. 37816, 48637). Often hostile towards divers and may attack unprovoked when caring for eggs (Ref. 48637). Feed on sea urchins, coral, crabs and other crustaceans, mollusks and tube worms. Oviparous (Ref. 205). Largest triggerfish; females are reported to have attacked divers when guarding their nest (Ref. 2334). Also caught with drive-in nets. Marketed fresh and dried-salted (Ref. 9770).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 11 January 2022 Ref. (130435)
Threat to humans:  reports of ciguatera poisoning
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