Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789)
Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Lagocephalus sceleratus

English Name: Silver-cheeked toadfish

Creole Name: Pitou

French Name: Ballon à bande argentée

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 0; Dorsal rays: 10-13; Anal spines: 0; Anal rays: 8-12.

Elongated body with slight lateral compression. The body is scaleless and it has very few spinules.  

It has two large, strong teeth in each jaw.

Colour. Dark greenish grey dorsally with black spots densely scattered on upper head and body. A silver blotch in front of the eye.  A broad silver band, 
tapering posteriorly, on the flank from mouth to caudal fin. Greyish white ventrally. Pectoral fin base black. Yellowish-grey caudal fin, and a pale anal 


Maturity: Lm 43.3 cm TL. Range unknown. Max Length: 110 cm SL. Commonly to 40 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

A demersal species that occurs over sand and mud bottoms near coral reefs (depth 18-100 m – it has also been reported in the Red Sea at a depth of 250 m). 
Sandy substrates appear to be important for juveniles, while adults are more common in seagrass beds. Feeds on shrimp, crabs, fish, squid, octopodes and cuttlefish. 
Exhibits an ontogenetic diet that shifts to molluscs with increasing size.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is likely caught in various net fisheries but is not landed because of its toxicity.


Contains tetrodotoxin making it poisonous to eat.

3 specimens recorded by J. Neviil in fishery survey (2012-2022) one in the stomach contents of a Tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier), another washed ashore, 
likely a fishery discard, and the third bycatch in a net fishery. 


Bray, D.J. (2018). Lagocephalus sceleratus in Fishes of Australia, (07/04/20).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2020). FishBase. Lagocephalus sceleratus. (07/04/20).
Matsuura, K. & Motomura, H. (2015). Lagocephalus sceleratus. The IUCN Red List 2015: (07/04/20)
Nader, M.R. et al. (2012). The Puffer Fish Lagocephalus sceleratus (Gmelin, 1789) in the Eastern Mediterranean. EastMed Publications.
Shao, K. et al. (2014). Lagocephalus sceleratus. The IUCN Red List 2014: (26/08/22).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Lagocephalus sceleratus, Silver-cheeked toadfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (updated 26/08/22).  

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