Species Details

Details of Map puffer will be displayed below

Map puffer   

Common Name: Map Toado, Scribbled Pufferfish
Scientific Name: Arothron mappa
Local Name: -
Dhivehi Name: -
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Teleostei  (Class)
Tetraodontidae  (Family)
Arothron   (Genus)

Map puffer's description

The map puffer (Arothron mappa) is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Tetraodontidae.

Short description - Dorsal spines (total): 0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-12; Anal spines: 0; Anal soft rays: 10 - 11. Body covered with prickles (Ref. 559). Body beautifully colored; black area around anus, black reticulations below pectoral fins.

Max length : 65.0 cm TL male/unsexed.


Map puffer habitat

Arothron mappa is found in clear lagoon and sheltered seaward reefs (Lieske and Myers 1994). Adults are often found along deep drop-offs (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). This species typically occurs singly (Lieske and Myers 1994), and feeds on algae, sponges, and benthic invertebrates including corals. It accumulates paralytic shellfish toxins (Egmond et al. 2004). Juveniles occur on seagrass beds (K. Matsuura pers. comm. 2011, Berkström et al. 2012). Arothron mappa has been known to hybridize with A. nigropunctatus (Hobbs et al. 2009).

Fishes of the genus Arothron are widely distributed throughout the tropical regions of the Indo-western Pacific.  Species have been distinguished primarily on the basis of their distinctive colour patterns due to morphological similarities between species.

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).

Map puffer threats

There have been no confirmed population declines in A. mappa. However, because of its affinity with coral reefs and seagrass beds, its high-value in the marine aquarium trade, and possible exploitation in the international pufferfish trade, we infer that A. mappa may be experiencing population declines due to habitat loss and harvesting in parts of its range. In Japan, this species is called "Kesho-fugu"

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 Southeast 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).

Map puffer's status