TETRAODONTIDAE
pufferfishes

  Sphoeroides marmoratus
(Lowe, 1839)

Misidentification
Sphoeroides spengleri

Meristic formula

D, 7-9; A, 7-8; P, 15


      

SHORT DESCRIPTION
Body inflatable; when not inflated it is elongated and almost round in cross section. Dorsal and anal fins are small, opposite each other and located at the last third of the body. Caudal fin truncated. Pectoral fin round. Pelvic fin absent. Snout moderately pointed. Small terminal mouth. Four teeth, two in each jaw with a suture between them. Dorso-lateral eye extending slightly above profile contour. Small spinules on ventral surface. A single lateral line.

color : body greenish-grey to almost brown with white belly. Series of dark spots along the lower flank. Dorsal, anal and pectoral fins whitish to almost transparent.

common size : 5-15 cm (max. 20 cm).

DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTICS

  • Sphoeroides pachygaster – Smooth skin; no black spots on the body.
  • Canthigaster spp. –  No lateral line.
  • Lagocephalus spp., Ephippion spp. and Torquigener flavimaculosus – Two lateral lines.
  • Tylerius spinosissimus – The entire body except caudal peduncle covered with spinules; no blach spots on the body.
  • Diodontidae – A single wide teeth in each jaw.

    BIOLOGY / ECOLOGY
    Not known.

    habitat : sandy or rocky substrate at depths of 3-90 m.


    1st MEDITERRANEAN RECORD
    Italy, Galliopoli, 2007 [1977].


    DISTRIBUTION
    Worldwide : Eastern Atlantic from Portugal to Angola including Madeira, Azores, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. Mediterranean : south-east Spain; south-east Italy, Galliopoli, (Vacchi, et al., 2007).

    ESTABLISHMENT SUCCESS
    Rare.


    MODE OF INTRODUCTION
    Via Gibraltar.

    IMPORTANCE TO HUMANS
    None.

    KEY REFERENCES

    • Galeote M.D. and Otero J.G., 1996. Prima cita en agues peninsulares españolas de Sphoeroides marmoratus (Lowe, 1839) (Pisces, Tetraodontidae). Zoologica Baetica, 7: 3-10.
    • Mendiola C., 2005. Presence of Sphoeroides marmoratus (Lowe, 1838) and Sphoeroides pachygaster (Müller and Troschel, 1848) (Osteichthyes, Tetraodontidae) in occidental Mediterranean (bay of Santa Pola, Southeast of Spain). Revista de la Societat Paleontològica d'Elx Sección Vertebrados Actuales, 7: 1-11. 
    • Reina-Hervàs J.A., Garcia Raso J.A. and Manjòn-Cabeza M.E., 2004. First record of Sphoeroides spengleri (Osteichthyes, Tetraodontidae) in the Mediterranean Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 84: 1089-1090.

     

    • Vacchi M., Bussotti S., Miglietta A.M. and Guidetti P., 2007. Presence of the Guinean puffer Sphoeroides marmoratus (Lowe, 1838) in the Mediterranean. J. Fish Biology, 71: 1215-1219.

    FEEDBACK / COMMENTS TO AUTHORS
     



    Last update of the species sheet:
    January 2009


    ©ciesm 2002