Threetooth puffer

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Threetooth puffer
Temporal range: Eocene–Recent
Triodon macropterus JNC2989.JPG
Triodon macropterus, with extended belly flap
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Tetraodontidae
Bleeker, 1865-69
Genus: Triodon
G. Cuvier, 1829
Species:
T. macropterus
Binomial name
Triodon macropterus
Lesson, 1831

Triodon macropterus (common name the threetooth puffer and the black-spot keeled pufferfish) is a tetraodontiform fish, the only living species in the genus Triodon and family Triodontidae. [1] [2] Other members of the family are known from fossils stretching back to the Eocene. [3] The threetooth puffer was first scientifically described by René Lesson in 1831 and is recognizable for its large belly flap which has the ability to blend into the body when fully retracted. [1] [2]

Contents

Etymology

The name Triodon macropterus comes from the Ancient Greek τρι- (tri-, meaning 'three') and ὀδούς (or ὀδών , odoús, odṓn, meaning 'tooth'), and refers to the three fused teeth that make up a beak-like structure. [2]

Distribution and Ecology

The threetooth puffer is native to the Indo-Pacific, where it is found mainly around Australia and off the coast of Asia at depths from 30–300 m (98–984 ft). [2] [4] [5] [6] [7] Its habitat is pelagic, consisting of continental shelves, slopes, seamounts, and knolls. [8] [7]

Diet and Digestion

Little is known about the diet of the threetooth puffer. However, a dissection of the stomach of a caught juvenile specimen uncovered traces of mysid crustacean, foraminifera, echinoids, and sponges. [9]

The intestinal tract of the threetooth puffer (the esophagus, stomach, and intestines) is lined with several papillae, protrusions of the gut lumen. [9] After the stomach, the tract branches off into a specialized sac-like compartment called Tyler's Pouch. [9] Within the Tyler's Pouch the papillae are much larger in size and number compared to those prior. [9] The role and function of Tyler's Pouch is largely unknown. [9]

Adult Characteristics

The threetooth puffer reaches a maximum length of 54 cm (21 in). [5] Its body is yellowish-brown with a white belly flap as large as or larger than its body which it inflates with seawater when threatened. [2] The flap is inflated by rotating the shaft-like pelvis downwards, exposing a black eye-spot contoured with yellow. [3] [4] This makes the animal appear much larger to predators, and less likely to be eaten. [3] When danger is not present, the flap is retracted seamlessly into the body and the eye-spot is not visible. [2]

The head of an adult threetooth puffer makes up approximately 30.6% of the length of its body, and the eyes make up about 7.5% of its body length. [9] The upper jaw is composed of two dental plates while the teeth on the lower jaw protrude from a single dental plate, resulting in a beak. [2]

The threetooth puffer has ribs, a beak, and no pelvic fins which are all characteristics of tetraodontiformes. [7]


Adult scales have a rhombic base, and each has a median ridge from which several spines protrude. [9]

Juvenile Characteristics

The smallest Triodon macropterus specimen on record measures 20mm long and belongs to the ichthyological section of the Muséum Nationale d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris. [9] The head of the specimen makes up 45% of the length of its body, and its eyes make up 18% of its body length. [9] As a juvenile, the pelvic bone is continuing to develop within the rotund belly. [9]

Juveniles have unicuspid scales, tricuspid scales, and pentacuspid scales. [9]

Danger to Humans

Triodon macropterus is harmless to humans unless eaten, at which point the species is considered poisonous. [2] [4]

See Also

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.

Porcupinefish Family of fishes

Porcupinefish are fish belonging to the family Diodontidae, also commonly called blowfish and, sometimes, balloonfish and globefish. They are sometimes collectively called pufferfish, not to be confused with the morphologically similar and closely related Tetraodontidae, which are more commonly given this name.

Tetraodontiformes Order of fishes

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.

Triggerfish Species of fish

Triggerfish are about 40 species of often brightly colored fish of the family Balistidae. Often marked by lines and spots, they inhabit tropical and subtropical oceans throughout the world, with the greatest species richness in the Indo-Pacific. Most are found in relatively shallow, coastal habitats, especially at coral reefs, but a few, such as the oceanic triggerfish, are pelagic. While several species from this family are popular in the marine aquarium trade, they are often notoriously ill-tempered.

Molidae Family of fishes

The Molidae comprise the family of the molas or ocean sunfishes, unusual fish whose bodies come to an end just behind the dorsal and anal fins, giving them a "half-fish" appearance. They are also the largest of the ray-finned bony fish, with the ocean sunfish Mola mola and southern sunfish, Mola alexandrini, both recorded at up to 4.6 m (15 ft) in length and 2,300 kg (5,100 lb) in weight.

<i>Arothron</i> Genus of fishes

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.

Ostraciidae Family of boxfishes

Ostraciidae is a family of squared, bony fish belonging to the order Tetraodontiformes, closely related to the pufferfishes and filefishes. Fish in the family are known variously as boxfishes, cofferfishes, cowfishes and trunkfishes. It contains about 23 extant species in 6 extant genera.

This glossary of ichthyology is a list of definitions of terms and concepts used in ichthyology, the study of fishes.

Map puffer Species of fish

The map puffer, also known as the map pufferfish, scribbled pufferfish, or Kesho-fugu, is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Tetraodontidae.

Triacanthidae Family of fishes

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) Genus of fishes

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> Species of fish

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 Species of fish

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

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".

Spikefish Family of fishes

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>Tetrosomus gibbosus</i> Species of fish

Tetrosomus gibbosus, commonly called camel cowfish because of the hump on its dorsal keel, is one of 22 species in the boxfish family, Ostraciidae. It is a ray finned fish. Other common names include helmet cowfish, humpback turretfish and thornbacked boxfish. It is most closely related to Tetrosomus reipublicae, the smallspine turretfish. T. gibbosus is a species of boxfish native to the Indo-West Pacific, but it has been established in the Mediterranean Sea via Lessepsian migration. It is mainly found at depths of 37–110 m (121–361 ft) on slopes or over muddy bottoms, but can sometimes be seen near shallow seagrass beds. Like other boxfish species, its flesh is poisonous. It feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates and algae.

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.

Torquigener squamicauda, commonly known as the brush-tail toadfish or scalytail toadfish, is a species of fish in the family Tetraodontidae. It is found in the coastal waters off eastern Australia from Yeppoon in Queensland to Wattamolla just south of Sydney in New South Wales.

Torquigener perlevis, commonly known as the spineless toadfish, is a species of fish in the family Tetraodontidae. It is found in the coastal waters off northern and eastern Australia from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the Georges River and Botany Bay in Sydney, New South Wales.

References

  1. 1 2 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 3 4 5 6 7 8 Gomon, M.F. & Bray, D.J. (2011): Threetooth Puffer, Triodon macropterus, Fishes of Australia.
  3. 1 2 3 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.
  4. 1 2 3 Binohlan, C.B. & Reyes, R.B. Triodon macropterus, Threetooth puffer in FishBase. March 2021 version.
  5. 1 2 Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2015). "Triodon macropterus" in FishBase . February 2015 version.
  6. COPEPEDIA Molecular Info for Syntripsa Flavichela : T4015260 : Species, updated 11 Nov. 2020, www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/nauplius/media/copepedia/taxa/T4015260/html/primerframe.html.
  7. 1 2 3 Yamanoue, Y. et al. (19 July 2008). "A New Perspective on Phylogeny and Evolution of Tetraodontiform Fishes (Pisces: Acanthopterygii) Based on Whole Mitochondrial Genome Sequences: Basal Ecological Diversification?". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8 via BioMedCentral.
  8. Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (December 2019). "Triodon macropterus Lesson, 1831". WoRMS - World Register of Marine Science. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Johnson, G.D., and Britz, R. (29 January 2005). “A Description of the Smallest Triodon on Record (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes: Triodontidae).” Ichthyological Research, vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 176–181.