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Species: Sphoeroides tyleri, Bearded Puffer

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side with skin flaps
lower head & body: row ~10 indistinct spots
chin: each side very dark
prickles: most body before D level
upper part: dark mottling
pectoral 15-16

Sphoeroides tyleri Shipp, 1972

Bearded Puffer

Body oblong, thick, inflatable; head blunt; 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 15-16 (rarely 14); no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin edge slightly rounded, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin; skin flaps on side, especially lower side; prickles over most of body before dorsal and anal fins.

Grey-brown above, white below; upper body & head with dark mottling; a row of ~10 indistinct dark spots along lower side, from the chin to the end of the tail base; chin very dark on sides, light at center.

Size: 12.5 cm.

Habitat: sponge and shell bottoms.

Depth: 10-80 m.

Colombia to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sponges
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • 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 only
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 12.5
Depth Range Min
  • 10
Depth Range Max
  • 80