Banded Toadfish, Marilyna pleurosticta (Günther 1872)

Other Names: Banded Toado, Gold-finned Toado

Banded Toadfish, Marilyna pleurosticta, in Moreton Bay, Queensland, September 2011. Source: nyoni-pete / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale olive-green to dark greenish-grey puffer becoming silvery to white below, with four dark bands (either solid or comprised of irregularly distributed round spots) across the back and sides, the last on the caudal peduncle. The bands on the side of the body may be replaced by dark, lateral blotches. The pectoral and dorsal fins are tinged reddish to reddish-yellow, the anal fin is bright orange to yellow, and the caudal fin is reddish-yellow, becoming bright orange distally. 

Cite this page as:
Marilyna pleurosticta in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Sep 2023,

Banded Toadfish, Marilyna pleurosticta (Günther 1872)

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Darwin, Northern Territory, to Sydney, New South Wales. Occurs in estuaries and silty/muddy areas in shallow coastal waters, sometimes venturing into fresh waters. Habitats include tidal channels, mangroves and salt marshes.


Feeds on gastropod molluscs and crustaceans (crabs and prawns).


Banded Toadfish spawn in September in New South Wales. This slow-growing species may live up to 30 years of age.

Species Citation

Tetrodon pleurostictus Günther 1872, Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871(3): 674, pl. 69(a). Type locality (lectotype): Port Bower and Port Mackay, Queensland.


Atlas of Living Australia

Banded Toadfish, Marilyna pleurosticta (Günther 1872)


Castelnau, F.L. de 1878. Australian fishes, new or little known species. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 2(3): 225-248 pls 1-2 (described as Tetrodon bibroni) See ref at BHL

De Vis, C.W. 1884. Fishes from South Sea islands. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 8(4): 445-457 (described as Tetrodon laevis) See ref at BHL

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp. 

Grant, E.M. 2002. Guide to Fishes. Redcliffe : EM Grant Pty Ltd 880 pp. 

Günther, A. 1872. Report on several collections of fishes recently obtained for the British Museum. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1871(3): 652-675 pls 53-70 See ref at BHL

Hardy, G.S. 1982. Two new generic names for some Australian pufferfishes (Tetraodontiformes : Tetraodontidae), with species redescriptions and osteological comparisons. The Australian Zoologist 21(1): 1-24 figs 1-6

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

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) 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Mat Piah, R 2011. Aspects of the ecology of small estuarine pufferfish relevant to their value as biomonitors of pollution. Ph.D thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, New South Wales.

Mat Piah, R. & Bucher, D.J. 2014. Reproductive biology of estuarine pufferfish, Marilyna pleurosticta and Tetractenos hamiltoni (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae) in northern NSW: implications for biomonitoring. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 136: 219-230. See ref online

McCulloch, A.R. 1927. The Fishes and Fish-like Animals of New South Wales. Sydney : Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales 2, 104 pp. 

Shao, K., Liu, M., Hardy, G., Jing, L., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Marilyna pleurosticta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193686A2260357. Downloaded on 28 May 2020.

Stead, D.G. 1907. Additions to the Fish-Fauna of New South Wales. No. 1. Sydney : Department of Fisheries, New South Wales 27 pp. 

Taylor, W.R. 1964. Fishes of Arnhem Land. Records of the American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land 4: 44-307 figs 1-68 (as Sphoeroides pleurostictus)

Thomas, B.E. & Connolly, R.M. 2001. Fish use of subtropical saltmarshes in Queensland, Australia: relationships with vegetation, water depth and distance onto the marsh. Marine Ecology Progress Series 209: 275-288.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467032

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern


Habitat:Estuaries, freshwater, muddy coastal areas

Max Size:13.5 cm SL


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