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    Black-spotted Puffer

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    Distribution

    The Black-spotted Puffer (Arothron nigropunctatus) also known as the Dogface Puffer, is a frequent inhabitant of coral reefs from East Africa to the central Pacific, including the warmer waters of Australia.

    Appearance

    It reaches a length of 25 cm. The species is highly variable in color from gray to yellow-orange with few to many black spots, sometimes all yellow.

    Diet

    The Dogface puffers feed on live corals, sponges, tunicates, and algae.

    Unusual

    The species is famous for its ability to swallow water (or air), causing the body to inflate several times its normal size into a spherical shape.

    Poisonous

    Besides, a potent poison tetrodotoxin is produced in its body, particularly the liver and ovaries. The toxin blocks Na ions. Pufferfish poisoning symptoms include sweating, low body temperature, rapid and weak pulse, tremors, and poor movement coordination. Respiration becomes difficult due to muscle paralysis, which may result in death.

    Video Credits: Seaunseen
    Image Credits: Bernard Dupont, WikiMedia

    References

    1. Gerald Allen – Tropical Reef Fishes: Periplus Nature Guide
    2. Anthony Tu – Handbook of Natural Toxins: Food Poisoning

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