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Species: Guentheridia formosa, Spotted puffer

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nasal organ = broad papilla with 2 large holes + cluster small pits
wide & convex between eyes
back & sides - dense dark spots
back & belly: skin prickly

Guentheridia formosa (Günther, 1870)

Spotted puffer

Body a heavy elongate oval; head low and broad, notably wider than deep;  wide and convex between eyes; snout short; nasal organ consists of a low, broad papilla, with 2 large holes and a cluster of small pits on the inside of the papilla; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a 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; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin bluntly straight, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, body with small spinules, no fleshy skin flaps.

Upper half of head and body dark, paler below; with variable yellowish markings: body with spots in various patterns, back and upper sides with evenly distributed, variably sized (½ eye to > eye), variably spaced dark spots, sometimes spots arranged or nearly united, in concentric circles, with smallest ring in center of back, all gradations between these two patterns occur; tail dusky, other fins greenish. Juveniles - cross lines on head, concentric rings enclosing rings on back, reticulations on sides.

Size: 26 cm.

Habitat: demersal on coastal soft bottoms, common in estuaries.

Depth: 0-10 m.

Costa Rica to Ecuador.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Omnivore
  • No Data
  • Sessile worms
  • Sessile molluscs
  • No Data
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • All species
  • Continent only
  • Panamic province endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 26
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 10