Guineafowl puffers have heavy rounded bodies that are uniformly black with numerous small white spots (black puffer or botete negro), bright yellow spots (golden puffer or botete dorado) or a mixture of the two morphologies with bright yellow spots and black patches. They have large blunt heads with short snouts and are equipped with a set of massive teeth. They have small and similarly shaped anal and dorsal fins that are well back on their body. Their caudal fin base is long and deep and their caudal fin is rounded. Their body is covered with small denticles that resemble coarse sandpaper. When this fish is scared or frightened, they inflate and make themselves larger, exposing the denticles.
Arothron meleagris is Poisonous to eat
This pufferfish is active in the daytime, and is solitary and shy. Found in depth range 1 - 73 m.
Arothron meleagris feeds on benthic invertebrates.
There have been no confirmed population declines in A. meleagris. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, as well as its high-value in the marine aquarium trade we infer that A. meleagris may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss and harvesting in parts of its range.
As of 2008, fifteen percent of the world’s coral reefs were considered under imminent threat of being “Effectively Lost” (with 90% of the corals lost and unlikely to recover soon), with regions in East Africa, South and South-east Asia, and the wider Caribbean being the most highly threatened (Wilkinson et al. 2008). Of 704 zooxanthellate reef-building coral species which were assessed by using the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List Criteria, 32.8% are in categories with elevated risk of extinction (Carpenter et al. 2008).
One-third of global seagrass species are currently experiencing population declines, and 21% of globally assessed seagrass species are in threatened or near-threatened categories primarily due to coastal development and pollution (Short et al. 2011).
This species is a component of the international marine aquarium trade.