PUFFERFISH
TETRAODONTIDAE
Bandtail Pufferfish
Sphoeroides spengleri
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co, S 18 (max 30) Cru, Mol, Wor, Ech (Veg) I F
 
 
General:
Although confused by some with porcupinefish (Diodontidae [="two teeth"]), Pufferfish (Tetrodontidae [="four teeth"]) differ in their beak-like teeth are not bring fully fused, having a noticable groove (median suture) and lack obvious spines on the body. Both families have the ability to enlarge themselves as a predator deterrent.

Description
:
Olive brown, mottled upper body, white below.
2 dark bands on tail. Row of dark blotches on lower body. Can pale or darken to blend with background. Blunt head and mouth. Gold iris.

Ecology
A coastal, diurnal, generally solitary species which is found in shallow waters over reefs and in seagrass beds.  It has a high tolerance for disruption and is frequently associated with high turbidity and disturbance areas, such as dredging channels. Found at depths from 1 to 15m (3 to 45ft). Juveniles feed primarily on amphipods and isopods, and later feed on brachyuran crabs, bivalves, and gastropods.  Adults feed on crustaceans, echinoderms, molluscs, polychaetes and plants (the latter less than 10% of diet). Usually up to 18cm (7"), but can reach 30cm (1ft).

Life Cycle:
Monogomous and oviparous. There are no species-specific data concerning the length at maturity or spawning season.
Bandtail Pufferfish
178
(C) Kevin Bryant
POISONOUS
Bandtail Pufferfish
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Bandtail Pufferfish
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