Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758)
Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Arothron hispidus

English Name: White-spotted puffer

Creole Name: Bours disab

French Name: Compère à taches blanches

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 0; Dorsal rays: 10-11; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 10-11.

Typical rounded body shape of pufferfish. Single dorsal fin positioned posteriorly on the body, above the similarly-sized anal fin. Each nostril with two fleshy solid tentacles. Restricted gill opening. The mouth is beak-like. The teeth in both the upper and lower jaws are fused into two "plates".

Body is greenish brown dorsally and white ventrally. Flanks with 5-6 darker greenish brown bars descending ventrally braking up the lower pale flanks. Exhibits distinctive white spots on dorsal surface down to mid flank and becoming smaller and more numerous on the caudal peduncle. Alternating pale and dark rings around the pectoral-fin base and gill opening, and usually a white ring around the eye. Body with small spines except around snout and caudal peduncle. Can inflate itself (with air or water) when disturbed to several times its normal size causing spines to project and stand erect.


Maturity: unknown. Max Length: 50.0cm TL

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits inner reef flats, lagoons and outer reef slopes (depth 1-50m). Usually solitary and territorial on sandy to rubble areas. Juveniles found in weedy coastal areas and mangroves.

Feeds on fleshy, calcareous, or coralline algae, detritus, and a range of benthic invertebrates. Also known to prey upon. Crown-of-Thorns Starfish, Acanthaster planci, and may provide ecosystem services by regulating the population of this destructive starfish.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in the fish trap fishery, but is an uncommon component of the catch and is discarded due to its toxic nature.


Poisonous to eat. Capable of producing and accumulating toxins in the skin, gonads, and liver.


Bray, D.J.  Arothron hispidus in Fishes of Australia, (08/02/20),

Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2020). FishBase. Arothron hispidus (08/02/20).

Hardy, G. et al 2014. Arothron hispidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T193699A2262231. (08/02/20).

McGrouther, M. (2019). Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758) (08/02/20)


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