Arothron hispidus

family

Tetraodontidae taxonomy

Arothron hispidus Linnaeus, 1758, India. other common names

French: Tetrodon marbré; German: Weissflecken-Kugelfisch; Afrikaans: Witspikkel-blaasop; Japanese: Sazanamifugu.

physical characteristics

Body elongate, robust, and capable of inflation with water. There are small spines on the body, except for the snout and caudal peduncle. The jaw teeth are fused but separated by a median suture. There are 10-11 soft rays in both the dorsal and anal fins. The caudal fin is rounded. Two fleshy tentacles emerge from each nostril. The gill opening is restricted, and the single lateral line is bent. The color is greenish brown with small white spots on the back, flanks, and caudal fin. The belly has white bars. Grows to at least 19.7 in (50 cm) in total length.

distribution

Tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and East Africa to Panama and the Gulf of California; also north to Japan and throughout Micronesia and Polynesia as far as the Hawaiian Islands and Rapa Island and south to Australia and Lord Howe Island.

habitat

Coral and rocky reef slopes, lagoons, and inner reef flats over sand, rubble, or patch reefs. Juveniles found among weeds in estuaries or on reef flats. Depth range is 3.3-164 ft (1-50 m).

behavior

Solitary and territorial. Individuals may bury themselves partially in the sand.

feeding ecology and diet

Omnivorous, feeding on fleshy coralline or calcareous algae, detritus, sponges, corals, anenomes, tube worms, mollusks, crabs, echinoderms, and tunicates.

reproductive biology

Not well known. Probably lays demersal eggs. Larvae are pelagic.

conservation status Not listed by the IUCN.

significance to humans Collected for the aquarium trade. ♦

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