Pufferfish – 5 spices

  • Starry Pufferfish
  • Yellow Box Pufferfish
  • White Spotted Box Pufferfish
  • Blackspotted Pufferfish
  • Porcupine Pufferfish

Pufferfish, ballonfish, swellfish, toadfish or bubblefish refer to a family of fish which is able to inflate in case of threat.

Most species among this family also contain highly poisonous toxins in their flesh and their skin, making them inedible for most potential predators.

Their diet can include benthic invertebrates, algae, sponges, crustaceans and coral.


Starry Puffer

A starry Pufferfish foraging in corals

A starry puffer foraging in corals

This is the largest of all Pufferfishes, able to grow up to 120 cm (47 in) length. The shape of its body is oval and elongated. The background color of its skin is white or grey with a constellation of black spots arranged uniformly. Spot size is inversely proportional to the size of the specimen.

The Starry Puffer is solitary, territorial and often seen singly.



Yellow Box Fish

An adult yellow box Pufferfish

An adult yellow box fish

As its name suggests, this pufferfish is box-shaped. Juveniles are bright yellow in color with black spots whereas adults have blue-grey coloration with faded yellow. Juveniles are also stockier than adults.

Adults can reach 45 cm (18 in).


White Spotted Box Fish

White Box Pufferfish

females have a different color pattern than males

This specie of Pufferfish is also box-shaped and can reach a maximum size of 25 cm (10 in). Unlike yellow box fish, color varies depending on the specimen’s gender. Males have blue sides with yellow spots and black backs with white spots. Females are brown or black with white spots.


Black Spotted Pufferfish

The Blackspotted Pufferfish a very common coral dweller of the Andaman sea

The Blackspotted pufferfishis a very common coral dweller of the Andaman sea

Also known as dog-faced puffer, this Pufferfish has an oval shape and can grow up to 33 cm (1ft) length. The body coloration is very variable and can be grey, light brown, bluish, bluish dark, bright yellow, orangey yellow and also sometimes bi-color like bluish and yellow. The eye contour area is sometimes black. Some black spots are unevenly sprend on the skin.


Porcupine Fish

Porcupine Pufferfish

A porcupine fish wandering in the reef

This fish is medium size and can reach up to 91 cm long, but average specimens only reach 40 cm. Its body is elongated with a globular head, large prominent eyes and a wide mouth rarely close.


If you want to come across these surprising fish, you can book your daily trip with SSS Phuket. Are you ready to contemplate the marvels of the Andaman sea depths ?

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