Narrowlined Puffer, Arothron manilensis (Marion de Procé 1822)

Other Names: Manilla Puffer, Narrow Lined Puffer, Narrow-lined Puffer, Narrow-lined Pufferfish, Narrow-lined Toadfish, Striped Puffer

A Narrowlined Puffer, Arothron manilensis, on Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia, April 2015. Source: John Sear / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A pale greenish-grey to brownish puffer with narrow yellowish to dark brown stripes on sides that curve in front of the pectoral fin, and a large black spot around the pectoral-fin base and gill opening.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Arothron manilensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Aug 2022,

Narrowlined Puffer, Arothron manilensis (Marion de Procé 1822)

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Carnarvon, Western Australia, to Merimbula, New South Wales; also Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the East-Indo-West Pacific: Myanmar through Indonesia, east to the Hawaiian Islands, Samoa and Tonga, north to southern Japan, south to New Caledonia.

Inhabits estuaries and coastal waters, sheltered lagoons and reef flats, seagrass beds, mangroves, weedy and silty-sand areas near reefs. Juveniles often shelter amongst mangroves.


Dorsal fin 9–11; Anal fin 9–10; Pectoral fin 16–19. 
Nasal organ with 2 bifid tentacles; Lateral line single; head and body covered in small spinules (may be embedded in skin).


Feeds on crabs, small benthic crustaceans, gastropod molluscs, detritus and plant material.

Similar Species

This species may be misidentified as the Yellow-eye Puffer, Arothron immaculatus.


The species is named for the type locality, Manila in the Philippines.

Species Citation

Tetrodon manilensis Procé, 1822, Bull. Soc. Philomath. Paris 1822: 130. Type locality: Bay of Manila, Philippines.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Narrowlined Puffer, Arothron manilensis (Marion de Procé 1822)


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

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

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

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.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 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.

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp.

Marion de Procé, 1822. Sur plusieurs espèces nouvelles de poissons et de crustacés observées dans un voyage de France à Manille. Bulletin de la Société Philomathique de Paris 1822: 129-134 See ref at BHL

Masuda, H., Amaoka, K., Araga, C., Uyeno, T. & Yoshino, T. (eds) 1984. The Fishes of the Japanese Archipelago. Tokyo : Tokai University Press Vol. 1–2 437 pp. 247 figs 370 pls.

Randall, J.E. 1985. On the validity of the tetraodontid fish Arothron manilensis (Procé). Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 32(3): 347-354 figs 1-4 

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. 

Richardson, J. 1846. Ichthyology. 53-74 pls 31-41, 43-44 & 53 (part) in Richardson, J. & Gray, J.E. (eds). The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Erebus and Terror under the Command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross, R.N., F.R.S., during the years 1839–43. London : E.W. Janson Vol. 2 139 pp. (described as Tetrodon virgatus, type locality Port Jackson, NSW) See ref online

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105

Sheaves, M.J. 1992. Patterns of distribution and abundance of fishes in different habitats of a mangrove-lined tropical estuary, as determined by fish trapping. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 43(6): 1461-1479.

Sheaves, M.J. 1996. Habitat-specific distributions of some fishes in a tropical estuary. Marine and Freshwater Research 47(6): 827-830.

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

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467020

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern


Depth:2-31 m

Habitat:Reef associated, mangroves, seagrass

Max Size:31 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map