The starry puffer (Arothron stellatus) belongs to the Tetraodontidae family and lives in warm seas. It lives near sandy areas, reef slopes and sheltered lagoons with clear water to a depth of 60 meters. Juveniles are found near the shore.
This is a rare fish that contains a highly toxic poison in its ovaries, as it feeds on bacteria containing a toxin. The poison contained in the skin and in the liver to a lesser extent protects it from predators. Its diet includes sponges, algae, reef polyps, Crustaceans, molluscs and starfish that destroy coral.
Puffers are solitary and defend their territory. They can inflate their bodies to frighten enemies, as the stomach is connected to a bag that is filled with water or air. If in danger they are released from the contents and quickly disappear into the sea waters.
The fish's body is oval, spherical. Its skin is covered with thorns. It has no pelvic fin and lateral line, and the dorsal and anal are small. It swims with the help of pectoral fins and special muscles, so it can move forward and backward. The head is large with a short rounded snout with two pairs of nostrils and a mouth with four strong teeth.
The colour of the fish differs from white to grey, and the body is dotted with black spots. Juveniles have large spots, while adult specimens have small ones. Growing fish have yellow shades with stripes on the abdomen that become spots over time.
Diodon asper, Arothron aerostaticus, Arothron alboreticulatus, Chelonodon stellaris, Kanduka michiei, Tetraodon punctatus, Tetraodon stellatus, Tetrodon punctatus
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