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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

Relatively uncommon in patch reefs and coral slopes near sandy areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs. Juveniles occur in sandy and weedy inner reefs, adults on clear lagoons and seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Juveniles inshore, usually on muddy substrates and often estuarine. Adults on deep slopes and range to outer reefs, sometimes swimming high above the substrate or just below the surface. Pelagic larvae may disperse over great distance and juveniles occur in subtropical zone (Ref. 48637). Enter estuaries (Ref. 4833). Considered as the giant among puffers reaching a total length well in excess of a meter.
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Distribution

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 4919) to the Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island. Southeast Atlantic: south coast of South Africa (Ref. 4919).
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Red Sea, Indo-West Pacific: East and South Africa, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to Tuamotu Archipelago, north to southern Japan and Ogasawara Islands, south to New Caledonia, Lord Howe Island and northern New Zealand.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10 - 12; Analspines: 0; Analsoft rays: 10 - 11
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Size

Maximum size: 1200 mm NG
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Max. size

120 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9710))
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
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Diagnostic Description

Description

Considered as the giant among puffers reaching a total length well in excess of a meter. Relatively uncommon in patch reefs and coral slopes near sandy areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs.
  • Froese, R. & D. Pauly (Editors). (2014). FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Body covered with prickles (Ref. 559). Juveniles with dark stripes on belly, becoming spots with growth; adults with or without spots on fin (Ref. 4919).Description: Characterized further by pale grey body color with dense covering of black spots on head, body and fins; large black spots or irregular blotches around bases of pectoral and dorsal fins; head and body with small spinules except top of snout, base of fins and side of caudal peduncle, best developed spinules on ventral surface; short snout, length about 1.7-2.7 in head length; bony interorbital width 2.2-2.4 in head length; rounded caudal fin, length 4.0-5.0 in SL (Ref. 90102).
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Ecology

Habitat

Environment

reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range 3 - 58 m (Ref. 1602)
  • Myers, R.F. 1991 Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam. 298 p. (Ref. 1602)
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Depth range based on 59 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 30 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 1.5 - 421
  Temperature range (°C): 23.446 - 28.124
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.004 - 4.152
  Salinity (PPS): 34.387 - 39.819
  Oxygen (ml/l): 3.698 - 4.693
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.121 - 0.508
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.380 - 7.946

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 1.5 - 421

Temperature range (°C): 23.446 - 28.124

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.004 - 4.152

Salinity (PPS): 34.387 - 39.819

Oxygen (ml/l): 3.698 - 4.693

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.121 - 0.508

Silicate (umol/l): 0.380 - 7.946
 
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Depth: 3 - 58m.
From 3 to 58 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated. Star puffer.  (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)  
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Trophic Strategy

Relatively uncommon in patch reefs and coral slopes near sandy areas of clear lagoon and seaward reefs. Juveniles occur in sandy and weedy inner reefs, adults on clear lagoons and seaward reefs (Ref. 9710). Enter estuaries (Ref. 4833).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Arothron stellatus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Threats

Not Evaluated
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: of no interest
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Wikipedia

Arothron stellatus

Arothron stellatus, also known as the stellate puffer, starry puffer, or starry toadfish is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Tetraodontidae. It is found in shallow water in the Indo-Pacific region.

A. stellatus at Red Sea, Egypt

Description[edit]

Arothron stellatus is a medium sized fish which grows up to 120 cm length.[1] Its body is oval shape, spherical and relatively elongated. The skin is not covered with scales but is prickly. The fish has no pelvic fin and no lateral line. The dorsal fin and the anal fin are small, symmetric and located at the rear end of the body. The head is large with a short snout which has two pairs of nostrils and the mouth is terminal with four strong teeth.[2]

The background coloration goes from white to grey and the body is harmoniously dotted with black spots. The ventral area is usually clearer. The size of the spots is inversely proportional to the size of the fish, thus a young individual will have large spots and adults of maximal size will have small spots. The juveniles have a yellowish body background coloration with dark stripes. The young adults still have stripes on the ventral area which will turn to spots later and also some recollection of yellow on the body.

Arothron stellatus at Mactan, Philippines.

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species is found in tropical and subtropical waters from the Indian Ocean and Red Sea as far as Polynesia, southern Japan, the western, northern and eastern coasts of Australia and Lord Howe Island.[3] It is a relatively uncommon species and lives close to external reef slopes and sheltered lagoons with clear water, but mainly in close proximity to sandy areas, at depths from the surface down to about 58 m (190 ft).[4]

Behavior[edit]

Arothron stellatus feeds on benthic invertebrates, sponges, algae, the polyps of corals such as Acropora, crustaceans and mollusks.[2]

This pufferfish is diurnal. It is mainly solitary and defends a territory.[2]

Potential danger[edit]

Arothron stellatus secretes a violent poison, the tetrodotoxin, which protects it from voracious predators. In order to ward off potential enemies, they can inflate their bodies by swallowing air or water.

Taxonomic synonyms[edit]

The World Register of Marine Species lists the following synonyms: -[5]

  • Arothron aerostaticus (Jenyns, 1842)
  • Arothron alboreticulatus (Tanaka, 1908)
  • Arothron stellatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
  • Chelonodon stellaris (Bloch & Schneider, 1801) (misspelling)
  • Diodon asper Cuvier, 1818
  • Kanduka michiei Hora, 1925
  • Takifugu stellatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
  • Tetraodon aerostaticus Jenyns, 1842
  • Tetraodon aerostatious Jenyns, 1842 (misspelling)
  • Tetraodon alboreticulatus Tanaka, 1908
  • Tetraodon calamara Rüppell, 1829
  • Tetraodon lagocephalus var. stellatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  • Tetraodon punctatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  • Tetraodon stellatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
  • Tetraodon stellatus Anonymous, 1798
  • Tetraodon stellatus Shaw, 1804
  • Tetrodon aerostaticus Jenyns, 1842 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon lagocephalus stellatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon lagocephalus var. stellatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon punctatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon stellatus Bloch & Schneider, 1801 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon stellatus Shaw, 1804 (misspelling)
  • Tetrodon stellatus Anonymous, 1798 (misspelling)

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://eol.org/pages/204717/details#size
  2. ^ a b c Lieske & Myers,Coral reef fishes,Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780691089959
  3. ^ http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=6526
  4. ^ http://eol.org/pages/204717/details#habitat
  5. ^ Bailly, N. (2013). Arothron stellatus. In: Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. (2013) FishBase. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species at http://www.marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=taxdetails&id=219928 on 2013-05-29
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