Ferocious Puffer, Feroxodon multistriatus (Richardson 1854)

Other Names: Ferocious Pufferfish, Manystriped Blowfish, Many-striped Blowfish, Many-striped Pufferfish, Striped Toado

A Ferocious Puffer, Feroxodon multistriatus, at Exmouth, Western Australia, August 2018. Source: Alex Hoschke / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

An extremely poisonous and aggressive pufferfish that is known to attack people, biting off chunks of flesh and even toes. Read about a five year old boy attacked while wading in the shallows at Horn Island, north Queensland.

Video of a Ferocious Puffer being ferocious at Orpheus Island, Queensland.

Cite this page as:
Feroxodon multistriatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 08 Dec 2022, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/864

Ferocious Puffer, Feroxodon multistriatus (Richardson 1854)

More Info


Shark Bay, Western Australia, around the tropical north to about Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in southern Papua New Guinea. Inhabits inshore and offshore soft bottom areas around reefs.


Feeds on fishes and invertebrates.


Taken as bycatch in commercial trawl fisheries including the Torres Strait Prawn Fishery and the Queensland saucer scallop trawl fishery.


The Ferocious Puffer has been implicated in several attacks on human toes and male genitalia (Su et al. 1986).


The scientific name means "manystriped fierce-tooth" in reference to the colour pattern and the aggressive nature of this species. 
The common name is from the unprovoked attacks on people. The species has been known to bite off swimmers' toes.

Species Citation

Anchisomus multistriatus Richardson, 1854, The zoology of the voyage of H. M. S. Herald: 160, pl. 29. Type locality: southern Polynesia.


Australian Faunal Directory

Ferocious Puffer, Feroxodon multistriatus (Richardson 1854)


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

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. (as Anchisomus multistriatus)

Blaber, S.J.M., Brewer, D.T. & Harris, A.N. 1994. Distribution, biomass and community structure of demersal fishes of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 45(3): 375-396.

Courtney, A.J., Campbell, M.J., Roy, D.P., Tonks, M.L., Chilcott, K.E. & Kyne, P.M. 2008. Round scallops and square meshes: a comparison of four codend types on the catch rates of target species and by-catch in the Queensland (Australia) saucer scallop (Amusium balloti) trawl fishery. Marine Freshwater Research 59(10): 849-864.

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.

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. 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.

Richardson, J. 1854. Vertebrates, including fossil mammals. Fish. 156-171, pls 28-33 in Forbes, E. (ed.) The Zoology of the Voyage of H.M.S. Herald, under the Command of Captain Henry Kellet, during the years 1845–51. London : Reeve & Benham.

Sainsbury, K.J., Kailola, P.J. & Leyland, G.G. 1985. Continental Shelf Fishes of Northern and North-Western Australia. Canberra : Fisheries Information Service 375 pp. figs & pls.

Su, J., Hardy, G.S. & Tyler, J.C. 1986. A new generic name for Anchisomus multistriatus Richardson 1854 (Tetraodontidae), with notes on its toxicity and pufferfish biting behaviour. Records of the Western Australian Museum 13(1): 101-120 figs 1-5 1 pl.

Shao, K., Liu, M., Jing, L., Hardy, G., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Feroxodon multistriatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193677A2258984. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T193677A2258984.en. Downloaded on 16 September 2018.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37467010

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Danger:Poisonous & aggressive

Depth:1-68 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:39 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map