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Species: Lagocephalus laevigatus, Smooth Puffer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

belly no spots
juv: 3-4 saddles
C top lobe longer
pectoral uniform color

Lagocephalus laevigatus (Linnaeus, 1766)

Smooth 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 (13-14), and anal fin (12-13) pointed; pectoral fins 17-18; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail base slender (depth < ½ length); tail fin distinctly concave, symmetrical in shape, both lobes about equal length or top lobe longer, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin; body smooth except for small spines along belly

Upper body and head grey to grey-green; flanks silver, without spots; white belly; pectorals uniform color; juveniles and subadults with 3-4 dark saddles on upper back.

Size: 100 cm.

Habitat: inshore and nearshore areas over sand and mud bottoms.

Depth: 0-282 m.

East and west Atlantic; New England to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • Transatlantic (East+West Atlantic)
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
  • 100
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 282