Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Arothron diadematus, Masked Puffer

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

whitish + grey mottling
black mask: eye to blotch around pectoral base
mouth in black blotch
C white, D&A grey + black base

Arothron diadematus (Ruppell, 1829)

Masked Puffer

Body heavy, round; head large, blunt; snout short; nasal organ is a double tentacle, with minute pits on opposing surfaces of each tentacle; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a heavy 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 below the dorsal; dorsal rays 10; anal rays 10-11; pectoral rays 18-19; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail base as long as deep; tail fin rounded, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, covered with small spinules, no fleshy skin flaps.

Head and body pale brown to whitish with indistinct darker mottling; a large black blotch encloses mouth, separated by a whitish area from a black mask across eyes, with a thin extension back to a large blackish blotch centered on the pectoral fin area; dorsal, anal and pectoral fins with black base and rays; tail fin with whitish rays, black membranes.

Reaches 30 cm.

Inhabits fringing reefs; estuaries.

Depth: 5-30 m.

Indian Ocean and Red Sea; introduced to SE Florida

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
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Hard corals
Egg Type
  • Data
  • No pelagic phase
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • Exotic (Introduced)
  • GC non-endemic
  • All species
  • Vagrant
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 30