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Species: Lagocephalus lagocephalus, Oceanic Puffer

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belly with spots
juv: 9 bars
C bottom lobe longer
pectoral bicolored - dark above, white below

Lagocephalus lagocephalus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Oceanic Puffer

Body elongate, inflatable; snout longer than distance between eyes; eyes high on sides of head; nasal organs consist of 2 holes on side of snout; jaws are a beak composed of 4 fused heavy powerful teeth with a central suture on each jaw; mouth small, beak projecting; a slit-like gill opening in front of the pectoral fin base; a single short- based dorsal fin at rear of body; a similar-shaped anal fin below the dorsal; dorsal fin (13-15) and anal fin (11-13) both pointed; pectoral fins 13-16; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail base slender (depth < ½ length); tail fin slightly concave, lower lobe longer, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin; body smooth except for small spines from chin to anus and on belly.

Upper body and head dark green, brownish grey or dark blue; flanks silver with black spots; white belly; fins dark, lower 1/3 of pectoral white; Juvenile with 9 dark bars.

Size: 61 cm.

Habitat: pelagic, oceanic, but may enter estuaries.

Depth: 0 - 483 m.

Circumtropical; Bermuda to Brazil.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • In & Offshore
  • Inshore
  • Offshore
Water Column Position
  • Mid Water
  • Near Surface
  • Water column only
  • Water column
  • Estuary
FishBase Habitat
  • Pelagic
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Pelagic crustacea
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Circumtropical ( Indian + Pacific + Atlantic Oceans)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Temperate (>35N)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 61
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 483