Starry Toadfish, Arothron firmamentum (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)


Other Names: Mainstay Puffer, Snowflake Puffer, Starry Toado

Starry Toadfish, Arothron firmamentum. Source: Rudie H. Kuiter / Aquatic Photographics. License: All rights reserved

Summary:
A dark bluish to purplish-brown prickly puffer with many pale spots, a white underside, and dusky to reddish-brown fins.

Video of Starry Toadfish at the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka, New Zealand.
A juvenile Starry Toadfish (aka Snowfalke Puffer) in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Arothron firmamentum in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Jul 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/844

Starry Toadfish, Arothron firmamentum (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded from north of Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, and from Stradbroke Island, Queensland, to Tasmania, and west to the Ceduna area, South Australia. Elsewhere the species occurs in the north-west Pacific, south-west Pacific, and southern Africa.
Although Starry Toadfish often inhabit coastal waters, in South Australia they have been collected in depths to 360 m. They also form relatively large schools in some areas. Juveniles may associate floating algal mats.

Features

Dorsal fin 13-15; Anal fin 13-15; Caudal fin 11; Pectoral fin 15-17. 

Body oblong in profile, rounded above and below, slightly compressed laterally; caudal peduncle of moderate depth, without lateral skinfolds; body cavity inflatable. Head of moderate size (28-32% SL); eyes of moderate size, rounded, without skinfolds, lower border above pectoral fin bases; bony interorbital space broad; chin not prominent; mouth small; teeth in each jaw fused into beak-like structure separated by medial groove; each nostril a tube divided nearly to base, posterior lobe larger, opposing surfaces of lobes spongy; gill openings confined to area just in front of pectoral fin bases.  
Scales absent; body mostly covered by small four-rooted spines, sometimes partly hidden by associated papillae; lateral line generally indistinct, but when apparent angled from back of head toward centre of caudal peduncle, without branch angled anteroventrally above anal fin or second lateral line on ventrolateral surface. 
Single fleshy small rounded, paddle-shaped dorsal fin positioned posteriorly; anal fin similar to and opposite dorsal fin; caudal fin rounded. Pectoral fins moderately small, truncate. Pelvic fins absent.

Feeding

Omnivore - feeds mostly on crustaceans, and benthic and pelagic invertebrates.

Biology

This species is poisonous and should not be eaten (or fed to pets).

Fisheries

Often taken in large numbers as incidental by-catch during skipjack tuna purse seining off New Zealand and set nets in the Sea of Japan. Also taken in commercial trawl fisheries in southern Australia.

Species Citation

Tetraodon firmamentum Temminck & Schlegel, 1850, Pisces, in Siebold, P.F., Fauna Japonica: 280, pl. 126, fig. 2. Type locality: Japan.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Starry Toadfish, Arothron firmamentum (Temminck & Schlegel 1847)

References


Abe, T. 1952. Taxonomic studies on the puffers (Tetraodontidae, Teleostei) from Japan and adjacent regions. VII. Concluding remarks, with the introduction of two new genera, Fugu and Boesemanichthys. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 2(1): 35-44 figs 1-3

Ayling, T. & Cox, G.J. 1982. Collins Guide to the Seafishes of New Zealand. Auckland : Collins 343 pp. 48 pls 475 figs.

Bulman, C., Althaus, F., He, X., Bax, N.J. & Williams, A., 2001. Diets and trophic guilds of demersal fishes of the south-eastern Australian shelf. Marine and Freshwater Research 52: 537–548.

de Astarloa, D., Figueroa, D.E. & Reta, R. 2003. First documented occurrence of the starry toadfish Arothron firmamentum (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae) in the south-west Atlantic. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom 83(4): 879-880.

Glover, C.J.M. 1976. The starry toadfish Boesemanichthys firmamentum (Temminck & Schlegel, 1850). An addition to the fish fauna of South Australia. South Australian Naturalist 50(3): 54-56.

Hardy, G.S. 1980. Redescription of the antitropical pufferfish Arothron firmamentum (Plectognathi: Tetraodontidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology 7: 115-125. PDF

Hardy, G.S. 1994. Family Tetraodontidae. pp. 902-912, figs 795-804 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Last, P.R., Scott, E.O.G. & Talbot, F.H. 1983. Fishes of Tasmania. Hobart : Tasmanian Fisheries Development Authority 563 pp. figs.

Matsuura, K. 2008. Families Ostraciidae, Tetraodontidae. pp. 842-856 in Gomon. M.F., Bray, D.J. & Kuiter, R.H (eds). Fishes of Australia's Southern Coast. Sydney : Reed New Holland 928 pp.

Matsuura, K. & Tyler, J.C. 1997. Tetraodontiform fishes, mostly from deep waters, of New Caledonia. p.173-208. In B. Séret (ed.) Résultats des Campagnes MUSORSTOM, vol. 17. no.9. Mem. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 174. 
May, J.L. & Blaber, S.J.M. 1989. Benthic and pelagic fish biomass of the upper continental slope off eastern Tasmania. Marine Biology 101(1): 25.

May, J.L. & Maxwell, J.G.H. 1986. Field Guide to Trawl Fish from Temperate Waters of Australia. Hobart : CSIRO Division of Marine Research 492 pp.

Nakashima, K., Arakawa, O., Taniyama, S., Nonaka, M., Takatani, T., Yamamori, K., Fuchi, Y. & Noguchi, T. 2004. Occurrence of saxitoxins as a major toxin in the ovary of a marine puffer Arothron firmamentum. Toxicon 43(2): 207-212.

Paulin, C., Stewart, A., Roberts, C. & McMillan, P. 1989. New Zealand fish: a complete guide. National Museum of New Zealand Miscellaneous Series 19: 1-279.

Shao, K., Liu, M., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Arothron firmamentum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193822A2283115. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T193822A2283115.en . Downloaded on 05 September 2015.

Temminck, C.J. & Schlegel, H. 1847. Pisces. 248-289 pls 111-128, 129 (in part) in Siebold, P. Fr de (ed.). Fauna Japonica. Leyden : Apud Arnz & Socios Vol. 4(14, 15).

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37467005

Behaviour:Schooling species

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Poisonous to eat

Depth:1-365 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:43 cm

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CAAB distribution map