Common Toadfish, Tetractenos hamiltoni (Gray & Richardson 1843)


Other Names: Common Toado, Toadfish, Toado

A Common Toadfish, Tetractenos hamiltoni, at Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales, May 2007. Source: Richard Ling / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

Summary:
A sandy to whitish pufferfish with small brown spots over most of the back and upper sides, and brown bars and blotches usually on lower sides. Inhabits shallow estuaries, and often lies buried in sand with only the eyes exposed.
Pufferfishes (toadfish) are very poisonous and this species should not be eaten - or fed to pets.

Video of a Common Toadfish in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Tetractenos hamiltoni in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Mar 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/879

Common Toadfish, Tetractenos hamiltoni (Gray & Richardson 1843)

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from northern Queensland to Flinders Island, Tasmania; also Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand. 
Occurs in a range of habitats including bays, sandy coastal areas, and estuaries to less saline upstream parts of rivers. Individuals often lie buried in sand with only their eyes exposed

Feeding

Feeds on crustaceans (especially crabs), molluscs, polychaete worms, echinoderms, aquatic plants and insect larvae. Common toadfish have been seen blowing jets or water or lunging at isopods and crabs on rocky surfaces above water level.

Biology

Spawns in winter. 

Remarks

Common Toadfish possess occlusable yellow corneas - the species can vary the amount of pigment in its cornea by expanding chromatophores. The cornea becomes yellowish under bright light.

Similar Species

Differs from the Smooth Toadfish, Tetractenos glaber, in skin texture and colouration. The Smooth Toadfish has larger spots and blotches, and minute spines embedded in the skin giving it a smooth feel, hence the common name. The Common Toadfish is covered in small prickles.

Species Citation

Tetraodon hamiltoni Richardson 1846, Ichthyology of the voyage of H. M. S. Erebus & Terror Vol. 2: 63, pl. 39 (figs 10-11)]. Type locality:  Port Jackson, New South Wales (lectotype).

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Common Toadfish, Tetractenos hamiltoni (Gray & Richardson 1843)

References


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 (as Torquigener hamiltoni)

Bell, J.D., Pollard, D.A., Burchmore, J.J., Pease, B.C. & Middleton, M.J. 1984. Structure of a fish community in a temperate tidal mangrove creek in Botany Bay, New South Wales. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 35: 33-46.

Edgar, G.J. 2000. Australian marine life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. (2nd ed.) Reed New Holland: Australia. 

Chargula, C.A., Townsend, K.A. & Tibbetts, I.R. 2011. Community structure of soft sediment pool fishes in Moreton Bay, Australia. Journal of Fish Biology 78(2): 479?494.

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 

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

Gray, J.E. & Richardson, J. 1843. List of fish detected on the coasts of New Zealand. pp. 226-228 in Dieffenbach, E. (ed.) Travels in New Zealand: with contributions to the geography, geology, botany and natural history of that country. London : John Murray Vol. 2. (Tetraodon hamiltoni, nomen nudum; name only and no description or indication).

Hannan, J.C. & Williams, R.J. 1998. Recruitment of juvenile marine fishes to seagrass habitat in a temperate Australian Estuary. Estuaries 21(1): 29-51.

Hardy, G.S. 1983. Revision of Australian species of Torquigener Whitley (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae), and two new generic names for Australian puffer fishes. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 13(1/2): 1–48. 

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

Jelbart, J.E., Ross, P.M. & Connolly, R.M. 2007. Fish assemblages in seagrass beds are influenced by the proximity of mangrove forests. Marine Biology 150(5): 993-1002.

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)

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. New Holland. 433 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

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. Proceedins of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 136: 219-230. PDF

Mazumder, D., Saintilan, N. & Williams, R.J. 2005. Temporal variations in fish catch using pop nets in mangrove and saltmarsh flats at Towra Point, NSW, Australia. Wetlands Ecology and Management 13(4): 457-467.

Mazumder, D., Saintilan, N. & Williams, R.J. 2006. Fish assemblages in three tidal saltmarsh and mangrove flats in temperate NSW, Australia: a comparison based on species diversity and abundance. Wetlands Ecology and Management 14: 201-209.

Platell, M.E. & Freewater, P. 2009. Importance of saltmarsh to fish species of a large south-eastern Australian estuary during a spring tide cycle. Marine and Freshwater Research 60(9): 936?941.

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.

Roubal, F.R. 1999. Extent of gill pathology in the toadfish Tetractenos hamiltoni caused by Naobranchia variabilis (Copepoda: Naobranchiidae). Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 35(3): 203-211.

Saintilan, N., Hossain, K. & Mazumder, D. 2007. Linkages between seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh as fish habitat in the Botany Bay estuary, New South Wales. Wetlands Ecology and Management 15(4): 277-286. 

Saintilan, N., Mazumder, D. & Cranney, K. 2008. Changes to fish assemblages visiting estuarine wetlands following the closure of commercial fishing in Botany Bay, Australia. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 11(4): 441-449.

Sazima, I. 2019. Eating out: the Australian pufferfish Tetractenos hamiltoni lunges or blows water at prey situated above water level. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 25(4): 125-132.

Shao, K., Liu, M., Hardy, G., Jing, L., Leis, J.L. & Matsuura, K. 2014. Tetractenos hamiltoni . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193784A2276476. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2014-3.RLTS.T193784A2276476.en. Downloaded on 04 February 2020.

Siebeck, U.E., Collin, S.P., Ghoddusi, M. & Marshall, N.J. 2003. Occlusable corneas in toadfishes: light transmission, movement and ultrastruture of pigment during light- and dark-adaptation. Journal of Experimental Biology 206: 2177-2190. PDF

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

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.

Waite, E.R. 1904. A synopsis of the fishes of New South Wales. Memoirs of the New South Wales Naturalists' Club 2: 1-59 (as Sphaeroides hamiltoni)

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37467054

Biology:Poisonous

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-20 m

Habitat:Estuaries, sandy areas

Max Size:14 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map