Arothron immaculatus is a pale greyish to brownish puffer with a large yellowish-brown to black blotch around the pectoral-fin base, and a yellowish tail with dark margin. Dorsal fin with 9-10 rays. Anal fin with 9-10 rays. Pectoral fin with 15-16 rays. Body round in cross-section. Nasal organsof two tentacles joined at the base. Thebody except posterior part oftail, base of anal and snout covered with slender spines. Teeth fused into bony plates. Brownish above, lighter below. Upper and lower edge and margin of caudal fin blackish. No markings on body except dark blotch at pectoral fin base.
Do you know?
Immaculate puffer fish is poisonous to eat.
Immaculate Puffer generally is found in shallow protected waters, to depths of 15 m. A solitary species. Sometimes swims over unsheltered sand and sea grass areas. Immaculate puffer is widespread in the Indo-West Pacific and found at depths ranging from 3-30 meteres.
Immaculate puffer fish is poisonous to eat. immaculate puffer fish is currently sold commercially in the aquarium trade, and is exported primarily from the Maldives and Indonesia.
Tetraodontids are characterized by a tough skin that is often covered with small spinulous scales, a beak-like dental plate divided by a median suture, a slit-like gill opening anterior to the base of the pectoral fin, no pelvic fins, no fin spines, a single usually short-based dorsal fin, a single usually short-based anal fin, and no ribs. They are capable of inflating their abdomens with water when frightened or disturbed and are capable of producing and accumulating toxins such as tetrodotoxin and saxitoxin in the skin, gonads, and liver. The degree of toxicity varies by species, and also according to geographic area and season (Allen and Randall 1977, Allen and Erdmann 2012). Fishes in the family Tetraodontidae have the smallest vertebrate genomes known to date (Neafsey and Palumbi 2003).
There have been no confirmed population declines in A. immaculatus. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds, we infer that A. immaculatus may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss 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).
Globally, 16% of mangrove species are at elevated risk of extinction. Particular areas of geographical concern include the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, where as many as 40% of mangroves species present are threatened with extinction. (Polidoro et al. 2010). In the Caribbean, approximately 24% of mangrove area has been lost over the past quarter-century (FAO 2007).
Arothron immaculatus is currently sold commercially in the aquarium trade, and is exported primarily from the Maldives and Indonesia (BlueZooAquatics.com, LiveAquaria.com). Additionally, A. hispidus may be experiencing population declines as a result of harvesting for human consumption as part of the pufferfish trade.