The Puffed-Up Pufferfish

The Puffed-Up Pufferfish


The boxfish, the porcupinefish and the pufferfish are members of an order called Tetraodontiformes. The latter is from a family called the Tetraodontidae.

One subdivision with the sharp-nosed pufferfish is called Canthigasterinae. The ‘puffer’ connotation reflects the amazing ability of the pufferfish to pump itself up like a balloon to fool potential predators. Many members of this family are spiny, spiky and prickly. This effectively turns predators off to swallow them. But there’s even more frightening stuff to come. The puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world after the golden poison frog. Their skin and their organs contain poison. Notorious as they may be for their toxic tetrodotoxin, the pufferfish appears on the menu in Japanese gastronomy as a delicacy. They must be prepared by a licensed chef in order for restaurant guests to survive the internal organs freed from lethal poison...

Generally speaking, the pufferfish is a solitary species and seeks the comfort of what are called coralline bottoms and patches or carpets with seagrass .

Family Members

Masked Pufferfish

Size up to 30 cm (0,98ft). Depth up to 32m (104ft)

Anyone who knows Zorro will now acknowledge the shape of the black mask, decorating the eyes of the masked pufferfish. The masked puffer is happy in regions with coral reefs and seagrass beds. The oval and roundish body's of this puffer fish colouration varies from olive green to grey. Invertebrates and coral polyps are the prime choice on the menu of the masked pufferfish. The masked puffer fish is endemic to the Red Sea.

White-Spotted Pufferfish

 Size up to 35 cm (1,1ft). Depth up to 50m (164 ft)

The lonely white-spotted puffer fish can be tracked in coastal areas and on outer reef slopes, more commonly though in beds of seagrass and sandy areas that separate reefs. The spotted puffer fish has countless white spots and its ashen grey, almost smoke white full-figured and almost chubby physique. This puffer isn’t very picky when it comes to gastronomic preferences. It will eat almost anything, dead or alive…, so it's a diehard omnivore in vice and virtue.

 Other Family Members

  • Seagrass Puffer
  • Silver Puffer
  • Crowned Toby
  • Dwarf Toby
  • Pearl Toby
  • Spotted Puffer Fish