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pufferWhitespotted Puffer fish
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae Genus: Arothron Species: hispidus
Scientific name: Arothron hispidus,
Common name: Whitespotted Puffers
Hawaiian name: 'O'opu-hue, Keke, Makimaki

The puffer fish family is named for their four fused frontal teeth adapted for crunching armored prey as well as snapping up softer foods.

The white-spotted puffer fish are distinctively marked on their backs with bright white spots and its belly is marked with stripes. Their large eyes are placed high on their head and their gill openings are small holes behind the pectoral fins.

Like its cousin, the guinea fowl puffer (A. meleagris), the white-spotted puffer fish’s range extends over the entire tropical Indo-Pacific. It is found in similar habitats and produces the same toxins for which this family is infamous.

Juveniles are common in the weedy areas of estuaries, and they are also found in coastal bays. White-spotted puffers are usually solitary and territorial living over sandy to rubble areas on outer reef slopes to depths of at least 50 m. They also inhabit inner reef flats and lagoons. During the day the adults are often to be found resting, and there are reports that they may be nocturnal. Their diet is broader than guinea fowl puffers and while they will feed on corals, they also eat fleshy, calcareous, or coralline algae, detritus, mollusks, tunicates, sponges, zooanthid anemones, crabs, tubeworms and echinoderms.

[Back to Reef Species Guide]