Dogface/Black-Spotted Puffer

Dogface/Black-Spotted Puffer Arothron nigropunctatus

Type of Animal:

Tropical waters-external/outer reef slopes, lagoons, outer reef crests, reefs, reef edges, coral areas, rubble areas, rocky caves, under ledges, found as deep as 82.021 ft, needs pH of 8.1-8.4


Small spherical oval-shaped somewhat elongated pufferfish, small symmetrical dorsal/anal fin at end of body, color ranges from gray to light brown to bluish to bluish dark to bright yellow to orangey yellow to bluish/yellow, all forms have dark spots/blotches

Corals, coral polyps, clams, sponges, mussels, tunicates, crustaceans, squid, cockles, snails, algae, fish

Status in Wild:

Not applicable


Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: Solitary
1.5-2 lbs

1 week 

Life Span:
10 years

Body Length:
1 ft

These fish highly territorial w/ territorial fights sometimes resulting in death.
Can be active any time of day.
Prefer harder-shelled food to soften/file beak-like teeth.
Also called Black Dogface Puffer, Striped Dogface Puffer, Yellowbelly Dogface Puffer, Arothron Dogface Puffer, Arothron Dalmatian Dogface Puffer, Golden Dogface Puffer, Brown Pufferfish, Black-Spotted Blowfish, Pussy Pufferfish, & Black-Spotted Toadfish.
Though they lack pelvic fins, they’re very maneuverable, using dorsal/anal/pectoral fins.
Outer/inner skin layers allow them to inflate/deflate.
Courtship display involves males creating large geometric circles in substrate.
Sometimes hybridize w/ Map Puffers.

Fun Fact(s):
Captive fish very interactive/personable w/ caregivers & often recognize caregivers.
Pufferfish get name from defense mechanism in which they’ll inflate twice normal size by swallowing air/water. Never make a pufferfish puff because this is extremely stressful & can even cause death if air gets stuck inside.
These fish highly poisonous to eat, containing deadly tetrodotoxin, & due to this very rarely taken by predators.
Even though these fish highly poisonous, these fish served in Orient as delicacy called fugu. To serve fugu, specialized fugu chef removes poisonous parts (liver/ovaries/eyes/skin). Fugu chef training takes 7-11 years followed by rigorous written exam. Nonetheless, many people have died from improperly prepared fugu.
Tetrodotoxin from this fish blocks sodium channels & paralyzes muscles while victim fully conscious. This eventually causes victim to die from asphyxiation. Toxin is 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide.
Never touch these fish w/ bare hands-skin also contains tetrodotoxin.

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