Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus 1758)

Other Names: Broad Barred Puffer, Broad-Barred Puffer, Broad-barred Toadfish, Ringed Puffer, Stars and Stripes Puffer, Stars and Stripes Toadfish, Stars and Stripes Toado, Whitespotted Puffer

A Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus, at Statis Rock, Seal Rocks, New South Wales. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A greenish- to yellowish-brown puffer covered in small white spots, with white to pale blue lines on the belly, alternating pale and dark rings around the pectoral-fin base and gill opening, and usually a white ring around the eye.
Video of a very fat Stars-and-stripes Puffer at Oak Park, Sydney, New South Wales.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Arothron hispidus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Jul 2020,

Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus 1758)

More Info


Known in the Australian EEZ from Fremantle and offshore reefs of Western Australia, around the tropical north to at least Sydney, New South Wales; also at Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, reefs in the Coral Sea, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-Pacific.

Inhabits coral, sandy, rubble, weedy and seagrass areas on coral and rocky reefs, and in coastal bays and estuaries. Small juveniles commonly occur in mangrove estuaries along the Queensland coast.


Dorsal fin 10-11; Anal fin 10 - 11. 
Body with small spines except around snout and caudal peduncle. Each nostril with two fleshy solid tentacles. Restricted gill opening.


Feeds on fleshy, calcareous, or coralline algae, detritus, and a range of benthic invertebrates including molluscs, tunicates, sponges, corals, zoanthid anemones, crabs, tube worms and echinoderms (preys on the Crown-of-thorns Starfish). 

Species Citation

Tetraodon hispidus Linnaeus, 1758, Systema Naturae 1: 333. Type locality: India.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus 1758)


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.). Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Cole, A.J., Pratchett, M.S. & Jones, G.P. 2008. Diversity and functional importance of coral-feeding fishes on tropical coral reefs. Fish and Fisheries 9: 286-307.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

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

Hardy, G., Jing, L., Leis, J.L., Liu, M., Matsuura, K. & Shao, K. 2014. Arothron hispidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193699A2262231. Downloaded on 05 March 2017.

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398.

Hutchins, J.B. 1990. Fish survey of South Passage, Shark Bay, Western Australia. pp. 263-278 in Berry, P.F., Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds) Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F.E. (ed.). The Marine Flora and fauna of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

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. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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

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.

Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna tria Naturae, secundem Classes, Ordines, Genera, Species, cum Characteribus, Differentis, Synonymis, Locis. Tom.1 Editio decima, reformata. Holmiae : Laurentii Salvii 824 pp.

McCallum, H.I. 1987. Predator regulation of Acanthaster planci. Journal of Theoretical Biology 127(2): 207-220.

Matsuura, K. & Toda, M. 1981. First records of two pufferfishes, Arothron mappa and A. reticularis, from Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 28(1): 91-94 figs 1-2

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. 330 pp.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467033

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern


Depth:1-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:51 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map