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  • whitish + grey mottling
    black mask: eye to blotch around pectoral base
    mouth in black blotch
    Arothron diadematus, Masked puffer
    C white, D&A grey + black base
  • 2 black stripes: tail base to gill opening
    C: base - 2 black spots, upper & lower margins thinly black
    Canthigaster figueiredoi, South Atlantic sharpnose puffer, Two-stripe Sharpnose-puffer
  • D base - black spot
    2 dark stripes: tail base to gill opening
    C yellow + blue spots & streaks
  • tail base: 2 dark stripes end under D & A bases
    C yellow, top & bottom margins broadly black
    Canthigaster rostrata, the Sharpnose-puffer
  • robust
    head & body ~6 dark bars
    C bluntly rounded
    Colomesus psittacus, Banded puffer
  • belly no spots
    juv: 3-4 saddles
    C top lobe longer
    pectoral uniform color
  • belly with spots
    juv: 9 bars
    C bottom lobe longer
    pectoral bicolored - dark above, white below
  • head long, slender
    1 pr black skin flaps on back
    flank 1-5 diffuse dark blotches
    male: cheeks marbled
    upper body - prickles back to D
    C slightly concave
    Sphoeroides dorsalis, Marbled puffer
  • upper body - few dark indistinct blotches
    prickles: narrow strip along back -snout to pectoral tip; & chin to near anus; none on sides
    no skin flaps
    Sphoeroides georgemilleri, Plaincheek puffer
    pectoral 16
  • sides usually with skin flaps
    head & body - groups of spots -> irregular blotches
    prickles: top body - eyes to D
    Sphoeroides greeleyi, Green puffer
    pectoral 13-15
  • lower flank: row ~6-8 dark bars
    upper head & body - tiny black spots
    prickles: all body to level D & A
    no skin flaps
    Sphoeroides maculatus, Northern puffer
  • concave between eyes
    snout long
    upper body - small rosettes of pale dots, lower flank - row dark spots
    prickles: variable amounts on body
    no skin flaps
    Sphoeroides nephelus, Southern puffer
  • v blunt head
    wide between eyes
    indistinct dark blotches on flank
    skin smooth, no prickles
    Sphoeroides pachygaster, Blunthead puffer
    C straight/ slightly concave
  • snout short
    many spots & blotches, darker row on lower side
    prickes: head & body to D & anus, cheek
    no skin flaps
    Sphoeroides parvus, Least puffer
  • skin flaps: lower back & sides
    lower side: even row 11-14 strong, dark, round spots
    C 2 black bars
    prickles: small part of belly & flank
    Sphoeroides spengleri, Bandtail puffer
  • 2 pale bars between eyes
    back: dark polygons in pale mesh
    flank many spots
    prickles: most body, imbedded, not noticeable
    no skin flaps
    Sphoeroides testudineus, Checkered puffer
  • side with skin flaps
    lower head & body: row ~10 indistinct spots
    chin: each side very dark
    prickles: most body before D level
    Sphoeroides tyleri, Bearded puffer
    upper part: dark mottling
  • upper part: many red-brown dots, often in rosettes
    lower side pale + many tiny black dots
    flank - many pale skin flaps
    prickles above, below & sometimes on side body
    Sphoeroides yergeri, Speckled puffer