Pufferfishes


Home
Browse
Previous
Next

Pufferfishes or puffers are members of the Tetraodontidae family. They are found in tropical and subtropical areas of Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Their jaws are modified to form a beak of 2 pairs of heavy and powerful teeth. They have the ability to inflate the ventral portion of their stomachs with either air or water as a deterrent to predators.

Most species accumulate tetrodotoxin poison through their diet, which is a non-protein, organic compound, known to be one of the strongest marine toxins and being 1200 times more toxic than cyanide. The viscera, skin, and blood of most species are poisonous. Some species have the ability to excrete poison from their skin and some even have poisonous flesh. The degree of toxicity varies by species, and also according to geographic area and season.

Pufferfishes occur most frequently in shallow inshore waters, sometimes entering brackish and fresh waters. They are often found alone and seems to eat anything.

There are 26 genera and about 190 species of pufferfishes worldwide. Around 50 species were reported as poisonous to humans. There are about 32 species of pufferfishes found in Malaysia waters.


Home
Browse
Previous
Next


Scientific Name: Arothron immaculatus  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
English Name: Immaculate Puffer, Immaculate Blow Fish, Blackedged Blaasop
Local Malay Name: Buntal Pasir Bersih
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าหางไหม้ (Plā pạkpao h̄āng h̄ịm̂)
Main Identification Features: Body covered with prickles. No longitudinal dark stripes at the side of body. Caudal fin yellowish with dark rim.
Size: Maximum total length 30 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Estuaries to coral reefs, from 3 to 30 m depth. Usually found solitary. Primarily carnivorous, but feeds on seagrasses and mangroves as well.
Remarks: May be poisonous - Do not eat.








Scientific Name: Arothron mappa  (Lesson, 1831)
English Name: Map Puffer, Scribbled Pufferfish, Map Blaasop
Local Malay Name: Buntal Pasir Corak
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าลายแผนที่ (Plā pạkpao lāy p̄hænthī̀)
Main Identification Features: Fine lines radiating from the eye. Black reticulations below pectoral fin. Black blotch at the side of belly below the pectoral fin.
Size: Maximum total length 65 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters, close to coral reefs area, from 4 to 30 m depth. Usually found solitary. Feeds on algae, sponges, and benthic invertebrates including corals.
Remarks: Highly poisonous - Do not eat.






Scientific Name: Arothron reticularis  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
English Name: Reticulated Pufferfish, Reticulated Blowfish
Local Malay Name: Buntal Pasir Batik
Bahasa Indonesia: Ikan Buntel Kelapa
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าท้องลาย (Plā pạkpao tĥong lāy), ปลาปักเป้าลายตาข่าย (Plā pạkpao lāytā k̄h̀āy)
Main Identification Features: Body greenish-brown with white lines and spots. White lines around the eye and gill opening. Belly white with greenish-brown lines. Dorsal and anal fins yellowish. Pectoral fin yellowish with black base. Caudal fin yellowish brown with pale spots and dark margin.
Size: Maximum standard length 45 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Estuarine and shallow coastal waters with coral reefs, seagrass beds, sandy and muddy bottoms, to 25 m depth. Juveniles found in estuaries and enter the lower reaches of streams. Usually found solitary. Feeds on corals, seagrass, molluscs, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
Remarks: May be poisonous - Do not eat.








Scientific Name: Arothron stellatus  (Anonymous, 1798)
English Name: Stellate Puffer, Starry Pufferfish, Black Lined Pufferfish, Diagonal Banded Toadfish
Local Malay Name: Buntal Pasir Bintang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าก้นดำ (Plā pạkpao k̂n dả)
Main Identification Features: Displays differences in colour pattern at various stages of growth. Juveniles with small black spots and dark stripes that become spots with growth. Dark blotches around the bases of the pectoral fin. Adults with or without spots on fin.
Size: Maximum total length 120 cm, commonly to about 55 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal waters, from 3 to 58 m depth. Juveniles found inshore and enter estuaries. Usually found solitary. Feeds on sea urchins, sponges, crabs, coral and algae.
Remarks: Extremely poisonous - Do not eat.






Scientific Name: Lagocephalus guentheri  Miranda Ribeiro, 1915
English Name: Diamondback Puffer
Local Malay Name: Buntal, Buntal Pisang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้า (Plā pạkpao)
Main Identification Features: Spinule patch on the back does not reach the dorsal-fin origin. Caudal fin slightly lunate. Caudal fin extended middle rays posterior dusky to dark brownish with the dorsal and ventral tips white in colour. The dorsal side of the body brown with several dark bands crossing over the back; the first band between the eyes, the second above the gill opening, the third above the posterior part of the pectoral fin, the fourth encircling the dorsal-fin base, and a couple of small dark markings on the dorsal side of the caudal peduncle. Eyes are large rounded with an orbital edge at lower part.
Size: Maximum total length 26.0 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and estuarine waters, over sandy or muddy bottoms, to 274 m depth. Feeds on a variety of marine invertebrates.
Remarks: May be poisonous - Do not eat.








Scientific Name: Lagocephalus lunaris  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
English Name: Lunartail Puffer
Local Malay Name: Buntal Kerisi, Buntal Pisang Kasar
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าแถบเงินหลังหนาม (Plā pạkpao t̄hæb ngein h̄lạng h̄nām), ปลาปักเป้าเต็ม (Plā pạkpao tĕm)
Main Identification Features: Spinules on back extending from nape to the dorsal-fin base. Spinules pattern elliptical in shape. Body elongated. Caudal fin lunate. Dorsal metallic gold. Flank with broad silvery band from mouth until edge of caudal fin. Ventral white.
Size: Maximum total length 45 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and estuarine waters, over seagrass beds, sandy or muddy bottoms, from 5 to 150 m depth. Feeds mainly on crustaceans (crabs and prawns). Diet also includes fishes, cephalopods (squids) and molluscs (particularly bivalves).
Remarks: Toxic and poisonous - Do not eat.










Scientific Name: Lagocephalus spadiceus  (Richardson, 1845)
English Name: Half-smooth Golden Pufferfish
Local Malay Name: Buntal Kerisi, Buntal Pisang Muda
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าแถบเงินหลังหนาม (Plā pạkpao t̄hæb ngein h̄lạng h̄nām), ปลาปักเป้าครึ่ง (Plā pạkpao khrụ̀ng)
Main Identification Features: Spinules on back extending from nape to about half way to dorsal-fin origin. The dorsal two-thirds of the caudal fin are dark yellow and the ventral one-third is white.
Size: Maximum total length 43.1 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and estuarine waters, over sandy bottoms, from 3 to 200 m depth, but usually less than 50 m depth. Feeds on fishes, molluscs and crustaceans.
Remarks: Toxic and poisonous - Do not eat.






Scientific Name: Lagocephalus suezensis  Clark & Gohar, 1953
English Name: Pufferfish
Local Malay Name: Buntal
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้า (Plā pạkpao)
Main Identification Features: Spinules extending dorsally to origin of the dorsal fin; ventrally to before the cloacae. Caudal fin lunate. Spots are found irregularly shaped of brown to grey in various sizes dorsally. A raised skin fold along the lower side of caudal peduncle.
Size: Maximum total length 18 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal and offshore waters, to 100 m depth, but usually less than 25 m depth. Feeds on fishes, molluscs and crustaceans.
Remarks: Poisonous - Do not eat.






Other Lagocephalus species in the Indo-Pacific area:

Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) Silver-cheeked toad fish - Grey to greenish colour with regular black spots above. Small spinules extending dorsally to origin of the dorsal fin; ventrally to before the cloacae. The base of pectoral fin wide and black in colour. Silver blotch in front and below of eye. Caudal fin lunate. - This species is known to be toxic and poisonous - Do not eat.

Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758), the Oceanic puffer fish - Colour is dark blue above with no spots. A silver blotch in front of eye. Pectoral, dorsal and anal fins are dark. Belly with small spinules. - May be poisonous - Do not eat.




Scientific Name: Tetraodon fluviatilis  Hamilton, 1822
English Name: Green Pufferfish
Local Malay Name: Ikan Buntal Gigi Hijau, Buntal Mas
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าเขียว (Plā pạkpao k̄heīyw)
Main Identification Features: Dorsal profile arched, highest at midst of back. Three large dark transverse bands on back. Scattered large dark blotches surrounded by yellow borders on the back half of the body. Blotches are spaced out far apart.
Size: Maximum total length 18 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Brackish waters, to 50 m depth. Usually found at slow-moving parts of estuaries and lower reach of freshwater river. Feeds on molluscs, crustaceans and other invertebrates, as well as vascular plants and detritus.
Remarks: Extremely toxic and poisonous - Do not eat.






Scientific Name: Tetraodon nigroviridis  Marion de Procé, 1822
English Name: Spotted Green Pufferfish
Local Malay Name: Ikan Buntal Gigi Kupang
Thai Name | ชื่อสามัญภาษาไทย: ปลาปักเป้าเขียวประดำ (Plā pạkpao k̄heīyw pra dả)
Main Identification Features: Back and sides with more or less regular, rounded spots, which are more or less evenly scattered, and only occasionally confluent, never forming broad blotches. Blotches are closely spaced.
Size: Maximum total length 17 cm.
Habitat and Ecology: Coastal, brackish and freshwater river. Feeds on molluscs, crustaceans and other invertebrates, as well as vascular plants and detritus.
Remarks: Extremely toxic and poisonous - Do not eat.





Home
Browse
Previous
Next