Blackspotted Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


Other Names: Black Spotted Pufferfish, Black-spotted Puffer, Black-spotted Pufferfish, Black-spotted Toadfish, Black-spotted Toado, Dog Face Puffer, Dogface Puffer, Dogface Puffer, Dogface Pufferfish, Spotted Toado

A Blackspotted Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus, on Ribbon Reef #9, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, June 2002. Source: Erik Schlogl / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:
A grey to dark brown puffer becoming paler below, with many dark spots scattered on the head and body, and usually dark patches around the eyes and snout, and a white bar across the top of the snout. Individuals may also be partly or overall yellow in colour.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Arothron nigropunctatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 30 Sep 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/850

Blackspotted Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Distribution

Australian EEZ from Ningaloo Reef and offshore reefs of northwest Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, to the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, south to the Shoalhaven River, New South Wales; also at Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Indo-west-central Pacific from East Africa to Micronesia and Samoa, and north to southern Japan, Taiwan and the South China Sea.

Inhabits coastal and outer reefs, usually in areas with rich invertebrate growth.

Features

Dorsal fin 9-11; Anal fin 10-12; Pectoral fin 17-20.
Nasal organ with 2 bifid tentacles; a single lateral line on side of body; head and body covered with small spinules except around mouth, caudal peduncle and some areas on the back; spinules are most obvious on the ventral surface.

Size


Feeding

Feeds on a range of invertebrates, including sponges, corals, molluscs and tunicates, along with algae.

Remarks

The Blackspotted Puffer has been known to hybridize with the Scribbled Puffer, Arothron mappa (Hobbs et al. 2009).

Etymology

The specific name nigropunctatus is from the Latin nigro- (= black) and punctatus (= spotted), in reference to the black spots scattered on the head and body of this species.

Species Citation

Tetrodon nigropunctatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae:  507. Type locality: Tranquebar, India.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2022

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Blackspotted Puffer, Arothron nigropunctatus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

References


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

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

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

Allen, G.R. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 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. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls. See ref at BHL

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean Version: 2019.1  https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4428305

Hobbs, J-P., Frisch, A.J., Allen, G.R., & Van Herwerden, L. 2009. Marine hybrid hotspot at Indo-Pacific biogeographic border. Biology Letters 5: 258-261 https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2008.0561

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219

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. 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.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Ogilby, J.D. 1890. Description of a new Tetrodon from New South Wales. Records of the Australian Museum 1(4): 81-82, 101 (described as Tetrodon aurantius)

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.

Oxley, W.G., Emslie, M., Muir, P. & Thompson, A.A. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science i-vii, 1-67 pp.

Paradice, W.E. & Whitley, G.P. 1927. Northern Territory fishes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 9(1): 76-106 figs 1-3 pls 11-15 (as Tetraodon nigropunctatus)

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

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.

Shao, K., Liu, M., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Arothron nigropunctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193804A2279524. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T193804A2279524.en. Downloaded on 03 May 2018.

Su, J.-X. & Tyler, J.C. 1986. Diagnoses of Arothron nigropunctatus and A. meleagris, two extremely polychromatic Indo-Pacific pufferfishes (Pisces : Tetraodontidae). Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 138(1): 14-32 figs 1-5 http://www.jstor.org/stable/4064849

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

Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37467027

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Poisonous

Depth:3-25 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:30 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map