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Species: Sphoeroides spengleri, Bandtail puffer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

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 (Bloch, 1785)

Bandtail puffer

Body oblong, thick, inflatable; head short; 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 13; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin bluntly rounded, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin; prickles only a small part of flank and belly; skin flaps on lower back and sides.

Light brown to grey, with large black spots; lower side with an even row of 11-14 sharply defined round black spots; tail fin with a black bar at front and another at rear; skin flaps uncolored.

Size: 16 cm.

Habitat: around reefs, in seagrass beds.

Depth: 2-74 m.

Massachusetts to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • GC non-endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Extends South of GC
  • Extends N + S of GC
  • Continent
  • All species..
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Temperate (>35N)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 16
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Depth Range Max
  • 74