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Triggerfishes Pufferfishes and Relatives: Tetraodontiformes

White-spotted Puffer (arothron Hispidus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: White-spotted puffers have a long thick body. Except for the snout and tail, the body is covered with small spines. The teeth are fused to one another. The dorsal and anal fins are short. The tail fin is rounded. Two fleshy tentacles emerge from each nostril. The color is greenish brown with small white spots on the back, sides, and tail fin. The belly has white bars. White-spotted puffers grow to a length of about 20 inches (50 centimeters).


Geographic range: White-spotted puffers live in the Indian Ocean and on both sides of the Pacific Ocean.


Habitat: White-spotted puffers live on reefs.

Diet: White-spotted puffers eat algae, waste material, and invertebrates.

Behavior and reproduction: To protect themselves from predators, white-spotted puffers rapidly fill themselves up like a water balloon. These fish live alone and are territorial. They may bury themselves White-spotted puffers live alone and are territorial. They may bury themselves partially in the sand. (Carol Buchanan-V&W/Bruce Coleman Inc. Reproduced by permission.) partially in the sand. Scientists know little about how white-spotted puffers reproduce. The fish probably lay eggs on the bottom. The larvae drift in open water.


White-spotted puffers and people: White-spotted puffers are collected for aquariums.


Conservation status: White-spotted puffers are not threatened or endangered. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceFish and Other Cold-Blooded VertebratesTriggerfishes Pufferfishes and Relatives: Tetraodontiformes - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Clown Triggerfish (balistoides Conspicillum): Species Accounts, White-spotted Puffer (arothron Hispidus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANG