Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Sphoeroides dorsalis, Marbled Puffer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

head long, slender
1 pr black/tan skin flaps on back
flank 1-5 diffuse dark blotches
male: cheeks marbled
prickles : snout to D & chin to pectoral
C slightly concave
pectoral 16

Sphoeroides dorsalis Longley, 1934

Marbled Puffer

Body elongate, inflatable; head relatively long and slender; nasal organ on each side a short papilla with 2 small holes at end; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a strong beak composed of 4 fused heavy powerful teeth with a central suture on each jaw; 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 with origin under or behind last few dorsal rays; dorsal rays 8, anal rays 7; pectoral usually 16 ( rarely 15 or 17); no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin slightly concave, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, 1 pair of skin flaps on back, midway between eye and dorsal fin; upper body skin with prickles from snout back to dorsal fin, and along underside from chin to under pectoral, rarely on belly.

Grey to light brown; 1 pair of black to pale tan skin flaps on upper back; 1-5 diffuse dark blotches on side behind pectoral fin; males with scrawl markings on cheek.

Size: 17.5 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms.

Depth: 8-324 m.

North Carolina to Surinam, also in Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • 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)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic 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)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 17.5
Depth Range Min
  • 8
Depth Range Max
  • 324