Threetooth puffer

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Threetooth puffer
Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
Triodon macropterus JNC2989.JPG
Triodon macropterus, with extended belly flap
Scientific classification

Bleeker, 1865-69

G. Cuvier, 1829
T. macropterus
Binomial name
Triodon macropterus
Lesson, 1831

Triodon macropterus, also known as the threetooth puffer, is a tetraodontiform fish, the only living species in the genus Triodon and family Triodontidae. [1] Other members of the family are known from fossils stretching back to the Eocene. [2]

It is native to the Indo-Pacific, where it is found at depths to 300 m (980 ft). [3] Its name comes from the Ancient Greek τρι- (tri-, meaning 'three') and ὀδούς (or ὀδών , odoús, odṓn, meaning 'tooth'), and refers to the three fused teeth making up a beak-like structure.

The threetooth puffer reaches a maximum length of 54 cm (21 in). [3] It has a distinctive shape, with a huge belly flap as large as or larger than its body; it inflates this with seawater when threatened. The flap bears an eye-spot, and is inflated by rotating the shaft-like pelvis downwards. This makes the animal appear much larger to predators, and less likely to be eaten. [2]

The threetooth puffer is also known as the black-spot keeled pufferfish, and was first scientifically described by Lesson in 1831. [4]

Related Research Articles

Tetraodontidae Family of pufferfish

Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the order Tetraodontiformes. The family includes many familiar species variously called pufferfish, puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, blowies, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab. They are morphologically similar to the closely related porcupinefish, which have large external spines. The scientific name refers to the four large teeth, fused into an upper and lower plate, which are used for crushing the hard shells of crustaceans and mollusks, their natural prey.


The Tetraodontiformes are an order of highly derived ray-finned fish, also called the Plectognathi. Sometimes these are classified as a suborder of the order Perciformes. The Tetraodontiformes are represented by 10 extant families and at least 349 species overall; most are marine and dwell in and around tropical coral reefs, but a few species are found in freshwater streams and estuaries. They have no close relatives, and descend from a line of coral-dwelling species that emerged around 80 million years ago.


The filefish (Monacanthidae) are a diverse family of tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish, which are also known as foolfish, leatherjackets or shingles. They live in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. Filefish are closely related to the triggerfish, pufferfish and trunkfish.


Arothron is a genus in the pufferfish family Tetraodontidae found in warm parts of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Ocean. These species are sometimes kept in aquaria. The largest species is A. stellatus, which can reach 1.2 m (3.9 ft) in length.


Narcinidae, or numbfishes, are a family of electric rays. They are bottom-dwelling cartilaginous fishes with large, rounded pectoral fin discs and long tails. They can produce an electric discharge for defense, from which their scientific name is derived.

<i>Dichotomyctere ocellatus</i>

Dichotomyctere ocellatus, commonly the figure 8 puffer or eyespot puffer, is a pufferfish found in freshwater in Southeast Asia. It is known from the lower reaches of the Mekong (Cambodia), the Peninsular Malaysia as well as Borneo.


Triacanthidae, commonly known as triplespines or tripodfishes, is a family of Indo-Pacific fishes. It is classified in the order Tetraodontiformes, along with the pufferfishes and the ocean sunfish. The family consists of seven species in four genera, in addition to one extinct genus that only is known from fossils.

<i>Mola</i> (fish)

A sunfish is any fish in the Mola genus. The fish develop their truncated, bullet-like shape because the back fin, with which they are born, never grows. Instead, it folds into itself as the creature matures, creating a rounded rudder called a clavus. Mola in Latin means "millstone" and describes the ocean sunfish's somewhat circular shape. They are a silvery color and have a rough skin texture.

The speckled swellshark is a little-known species of catshark, and part of the family Scyliorhinidae, endemic to the waters off northwestern Australia. It occurs on the outer continental shelf and upper continental slope, at a depth of 150–455 m (492–1,493 ft). This species grows to 69 cm (27 in) long and has a stocky body and a short, broad, flattened head. As its common name suggests, its color pattern consists of many dark spots and white-spotted dark saddles and blotches on a light gray background. The juveniles are yellow with dark spots and lines, and a distinctive eyespot-like mark behind each eye. Like other swellsharks, this species can inflate itself as a defensive measure.

<i>Reicheltia halsteadi</i>

Reicheltia halsteadi, Halstead's toadfish, is a species of pufferfish endemic to Australia. This species grows to a length of 16 centimetres (6.3 in) TL. This species is the only known member of its genus.

Checkered puffer

The checkered puffer is a species in the family Tetraodontidae, or pufferfishes.

Least puffer

Least puffer, Sphoeroides parvus, is a species in the family Tetraodontidae, or pufferfishes. This species is the common bay and inshore puffer for the waters around Texas and Louisiana. It has also been found as far east as Apalachicola Bay and south to Yucatán. Mature least puffers are small, usually less than four inches (100 mm).

Northern puffer Species of fish

The northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus, is a species in the family Tetraodontidae, or pufferfishes, found along the Atlantic coast of North America. Unlike many other pufferfish species, the flesh of the northern puffer is not poisonous. They are commonly called sugar toads in the Chesapeake Bay region, where they are eaten as a delicacy. In much of the Northeast, the fish is known simply as "blowfish" or "chicken of the sea".


The Aracanidae are a family of bony fishes related to the boxfishes. They are somewhat more primitive than the true boxfishes, but have a similar protective covering of thickened scale plates. They are found in the Indian Ocean and the west Pacific. Unlike the true boxfishes, they also inhabit deep waters, of over 200 m (660 ft) in depth.


The spikefishes are ray-finned fishes related to the pufferfishes and triggerfishes. They live in deep waters; more than 50 m (160 ft), but above the continental shelves. They are found in the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and the west-central Pacific.

<i>Arothron stellatus</i>

Arothron stellatus, also known as the stellate puffer, starry puffer, or starry toadfish, is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Tetraodontidae. It is found in shallow water in the Indo-Pacific region.

Smooth toadfish Species of fish

The smooth toadfish is a species of fish in the pufferfish family Tetraodontidae. It is native to shallow coastal and estuarine waters of southeastern Australia, where it is widespread and abundant. French naturalist Christophe-Paulin de La Poix de Fréminville described the species in 1813, though early records confused it with its close relative, the common toadfish. The two are the only members of the genus Tetractenos after going through several taxonomic changes since discovery.

Smooth trunkfish Species of fish

Lactophrys triqueter also known as the smooth trunkfish, is a species of boxfish found on and near reefs in the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and subtropical parts of the western Atlantic Ocean.

Climacoporus navalis, the fleet klipfish, is a species of clinid found in subtropical waters of the Atlantic Ocean along the coast of South Africa where it can be found in tide pools. This species can reach a maximum length of 7 centimetres (2.8 in) TL. It is currently the only known member of its genus.

<i>Arothron reticularis</i>

Arothron reticularis, variously known as the reticulated pufferfish, reticulated blowfish or reticulated toadfish, is a ray-finned fish in the family Tetraodontidae. It is native to the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-Pacific region where its habitats include sandy and muddy seabeds, coral reefs, estuaries and mangrove areas.


  1. Matsuura, K. (2014): Taxonomy and systematics of tetraodontiform fishes: a review focusing primarily on progress in the period from 1980 to 2014. Ichthyological Research, 62 (1): 72-113.
  2. 1 2 Matsuura, K. & Tyler, J.C. (1998). Paxton, J.R. & Eschmeyer, W.N. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Fishes. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 230. ISBN   0-12-547665-5.
  3. 1 2 Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Triodon macropterus" in FishBase . February 2015 version.
  4. Gomon, M.F. & Dianne J. Bray, D.J. (2011): Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus, Fishes of Australia.