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: 3; Dorsal rays: 25-27; Anal rays: 24-25.

Greyish to greenish brown dorsally, with small pale spots. Whitish ventrally with yellow spots that can coalesce to form a reticulum particularly posteriorly.  3 large 
oval white spots along the back and a small one dorsally on caudal peduncle; a broad white streak often on side of body posterior to upper end of gill opening. White 
blotches and mid-lateral stripe can disappear with growth.  An oblique groove before the eye; large bony scales behind gill opening. Caudal peduncle depressed, slender 
and tapering. Yellow bands on dorsal and anal fins. Caudal fin, yellow with white bars and stripes pattern and diffuse black margin, double emarginate, lobes longer 
with growth.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 60cm TL

Habitat and Ecology:

Reef associated. Inhabits mud and silt sand bottoms (depth 7-350m), usually 7-100m depth on sand, sponge, and weed bottoms. Feeds on benthic animals, including crabs, 
molluscs and sea urchins. Juveniles in sheltered coastal bays and estuaries.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught in both the fish trap and hand line fisheries and is, along with Sufflamen fraenatum, 
the most commonly caught triggerfish in the artisanal fishery.




Abalistes stellaris is a synonym for this species.


Bray, D.J. (2018).  Abalistes stellatus in Fishes of Australia, (30/10/18). 
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2018). FishBase  (30/10/18)
Matsuura, K. (2015). Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyol Res (2015) 
62:72–113 DOI 10.1007/s10228-014-0444-5  
Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2015). Abalistes stellatus. The IUCN Red List 2015: e.T193587A56996805. (18/06/22). .
Matsuura K, Yoshino T (2004). A new triggerfish of the genus Abalistes (Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae) from the western Pacific. Rec Aust Mus 56:189-194
Smith, M & Heemstra, P Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. & Mason-Parker, C. (2019). Abalistes stellatus, Starry triggerfish. Seychelles Seatizens.  (updated 18/06/22).

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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 breaking 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 dubject to fishery regulations.It is caught in the fish trap fishery, but is an uncommon component of the catch and is discarded due 
to being poisonous to eat.


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 2014: e.T193699A2262231. (08/02/20).
McGrouther, M. (2019). Stars-and-stripes Puffer, Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus, 1758) (08/02/20)


Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Arothron hispidus, White-spotted puffer. Seychelles Seatizens. (Edited 24/10/21).

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