Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Sphoeroides lispus, Naked puffer, Smooth puffer

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between eyes wide & flat
back: 3 dark saddles + white dots
C outer 1/2 dark, white margin
skin: no spines, no skin flaps

Sphoeroides lispus Walker in Walker & Bussing, 1996

Naked Puffer, Smooth Puffer

Body oblong, thick, inflatable; head elatively long and slender; between eyes wide and flat (distance between eyes at least 2.5x snout length); 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 and anal fins 7-8; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin edge usually straight to convex, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin without spines; no fleshy skin flaps.

Light brown to grey, paler below; iris orange; back with 3 dark indistinct bars - behind pectoral, under dorsal, on tail base; small white dots and streaks on upper body; a dark bar between eyes; dorsal and anal, and pectoral pale; tail with dark outer ½ and white margin.

Size: 35.2 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 1-20 m.

Central Baja to the Gulf of California.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • TEP endemic
  • Cortez province endemic
  • Continent
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 35.2
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20