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Author: Gmelin, 1789

Balistes carolinensis Gmelin, 1789

Diagnosis: dorsal finrays III + 2, 22-25; anal finrays 2-3, 22-23. Scales in median, horizontal series 52-62. Colour: greenish-grey or bluish, variegated clear and dark. Pale blue lines or spots on fins. Size: 40 cm SL.

Habitat: chiefly over rocky bottoms, at 10-100 m; often under floating wreckage; juveniles in Sargassum in tropical Atlantic. Behaviour: usually solitary. Food: molluscs and crustaceans. Reproduction: in summer; eggs on bottom, in a cavity made by female, guarded by male; juveniles without elongated caudal rays.

Distribution: Mediterranean (common), Black Sea (rare) and on both sides of Atlantic (from North Sea to Angola and from Nova Scotia to Argentina)

Eggs, larvae and young stages. Sanzo, 1939a: 147, pl. 7 (fig. 8) | Tortonese, 1956d: 962, fig. 822-823, pl. 51 (fig. 18-19) | Garnaud, 1960: 1-6, 2 fig. | Moore, 1967: 861, fig. 1.
Otoliths (sagitta). Shepherd, 1914: 143, pl. 2 (fig. 10) | Frost, 1929b: 261, pl. 23 (fig. 3).

Grey trigger fish (Balistes carolinensis)