Familia Balistidae


by E. Tortonese

Short, deep body. Eyes near dorsal edge. Mouth small; jaws short and strong with 1-2 rows of few incisor-like teeth. Gill openings small, slitlike. Scales large, thick and rough, in regular series. Two dorsal fins the anterior with 3 spines; second dorsal and anal fin longer, similar and opposed; pelvic fins absent, replaced by short spine at end of long and movable pelvic bone; all soft fins with branched rays. Colours often bright.
Occur on reefs and in open waters in tropical and subtropical seas. Oviparous; demersal eggs.

Genera about 12; in Clofnam area 1.

Recent revision: Fraser-Brunner (1935).