The Indo-Pacific Ocean comprises some of the most unique and peculiar marine creatures. The pufferfish is one such extraordinary fish species that inflates when threatened. This is because these fishes are not very fast and easily preyed upon therefore is it a kind of natural defense. The fish fills its stomach with water (underwater) or air (on the surface) and puff up. Some pufferfish have spikes and most of them are poisonous. The Arothron meleagris is one of the pufferfish species that also goes by the name of ‘golden puffer’ or ‘guineafowl puffer’. It has been documented that not all pufferfish are poisonous, however, the Guineafowl puffer can be poisonous when consumed. This species of fish has been a part of the aquarium trade for a long time. The guineafowl puffer is primarily round and heavy and inhabits the coral reefs of the Eastern Pacific where they get abundant corals to thrive on. Nevertheless, the physical appearance of the guineafowl puffer can vary as it can have a dark body covered in white spots. Another variety would be the yellow body with few black patches.
Are you eager to learn more interesting facts about the guineafowl puffer? Then keep reading this article as more interesting facts are stated below.
A type of pufferfish that is found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean is the guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris).
The guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris) belongs to the class of Actinopterygi, family Tetraodontidae, and genus Arothron.
The population of the guineafowl puffers is not under any threat but the total number of these fishes present in the world is not listed.
The geographical distribution of the guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris) encompasses the Indo-Pacific region. These fishes are extensive in the Eastern Pacific reef and the Indian Ocean. It can also be observed in the region from Colombia, Ecuador, the Gulf of California, and others.
The coral reef of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean is the ideal habitat of the guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris). It can be discovered at a depth of 9.8-78.7 ft (3-24 m) amongst the coral reef of the Ocean. These fishes are also widely kept in aquariums where they are provided with an artificial habitat containing corals and rocky reefs other things that are required for their survival.
The guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris) is placed under the category of solitary fishes.
The lifespan of the guineafowl puffer is not listed.
There is not much information regarding guineafowl puffer reproduction. But, the pufferfish, in general, reproduces after they become sexually mature. Pufferfish attains sexual maturity by the time they turn five. Even though they are found at a depth of 9.8-78.7 ft (3-24 m) after copulating successfully the male pufferfish will guide the female fish to the shore where she lays her eggs.
The conservation status of the guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris) is of Least Concern according to IUCN. There are no apparent threats other than sharks and habitat loss because the destruction of the coral reef affects their population.
The pufferfish and porcupinefish are frequently confused with each other because of their same morphological similarities. This guineafowl puffer (Arothron meleagris) has been a definite role in aquarium trading because of this peculiar manifestation even though it is not being consumed. The body of the guineafowl puffer fish is round and heavy and the color may vary. One of the kinds of guineafowl puffer is dark-brown to blackish covered in small white spots, this kind of guineafowl puffer is labeled as ‘Botete negro’ or ‘black guineafowl puffer fish’. The other is brilliant yellow with patches of black here and there and is dubbed as ‘Botete dorado; or ‘golden puffer’. Both the black puffer and golden puffer’s snout is short and the head is blunt. The spots are more prominent on the back than on the sides and this characteristic can be observed in the pufferfish that inhabits the Indian Ocean. The color pectoral fins of the guineafowl pufferfishes may vary according to the fish. However, the pectoral, anal, and dorsal fins of the golden puffer are whitish. The caudal fin of the golden puffer can be light brown, yellow, or a mix of yellow.
The guineafowl puffer is an exotic fish that is being kept in an aquarium for its unusual white spots covered body or sometimes yellow. It puffs up when threatened and may look cute but it is poisonous.
Not much is documented regarding how they communicate.
The guineafowl puffer has an approximate length of 19.7 in (50 cm). It is bigger than the black-spotted puffer which has a length of 13 in (33 cm).
These fishes cannot swim very fast. They use their anal and dorsal fins to move through the water. However, their exact speed is not listed.
The weight of the guineafowl puffer is not listed.
The name for the male and female is not listed.
The term for the baby is not listed.
The diet of these fishes consists of corals primarily but they also prey on sessile invertebrates.
The guineafowl puffer plays an integral role in aquarium trading. It is provided with an artificial habitat containing rocky reefs and corals.
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Most of the species of pufferfish retain tetrodotoxin. The toxin secreted from one pufferfish is enough to kill 30 humans and it is even more deadly than cyanide. The restorative of this toxin is not yet discovered.
The pufferfish is treated as a delicacy in various cuisine even though it is extremely precarious to eat them. Regardless, not all species of pufferfish are poisonous there is some less poisonous variety as well. Poison can be present in specific areas of their body like skin, or liver. A type of pufferfish called ‘Fugu’ in Japan and ‘Northern puffer’ in North America is widely eaten. Chefs are specially trained to cook and serve pufferfish because it can cause paralyzes or even death.
While most pufferfish species are widely known for being poisonous some species are not as poisonous as the rest. It is hard to name which pufferfish is completely devoid of poison. However, fish like Sphoeroides maculatus or the Northern puffer does contain toxin in its flesh and is popularly eaten in North America. The Fugu puffer Takifugu oblongus is not toxic and it is being harvested now.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these African lungfish facts and channel catfish facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable quillfish coloring pages.
Main image by Coughdrop12.
Second image by Cliff from Arlington, Virginia, USA.