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Species: Sphoeroides pachygaster, Blunthead Puffer

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v blunt head
wide between eyes
indistinct dark blotches on flank
skin smooth, no prickles
C straight/ slightly concave

Sphoeroides pachygaster (Müller & Troschel, 1848)

Blunthead Puffer

Body oblong, thick, inflatable; head very blunt; wide between eyes; 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 9, anal rays 8-9; pectoral 12-15; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin edge bluntly straight to slightly concave, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, no skin flaps or prickles on skin.

Uniform brown to grey above, fading to unpigmented below; with indistinct dark blotches and spots on flank.

Size: 46 cm.

Habitat: demersal on sand, mud and rocky bottoms.

Depth: 25-600 m, rarely above 100m.

Apparently circumglobal (except for the eastern Pacific); New Jersey to Argentina.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
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 only
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • 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
  • 46
Depth Range Min
  • 25
Depth Range Max
  • 600