Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Sphoeroides lobatus, Lobeskin puffer, Longnose puffer

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row bars along lower flank
mid-back: 2 black skin flaps + 2 dark blotches
skin flaps on body

Sphoeroides lobatus (Steindachner, 1870)

Longnose Puffer, Lobeskin Puffer

Body moderately elongate, the depth ~ 29-33% of SL; snout long; narrow (19-25% of head length); concave between eyes; 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 6-8; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin edge usually straight to convex, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, small prickles covering most of body; a pair of skin flaps on top of back above pectoral fin; small triangular flaps of skin (cirri) scattered along side.

Olive on back and upper sides with brownish mottlings and numerous small blue-white spots, ventral parts white; eye in a dark blotch, with orange iris; a horizontal row of short brown bars between dark upper body and white lower body; skin flaps on top of back black, a large black blotch behind each on; rear half of tail fin dark, with white border.

Size: reaches at least 30.3 cm.

Inhabits sandy or weedy areas. Has an effective camouflage coloration and is therefore difficult to detect on weed or rubble bottoms. Juveniles occur on deep mud bottoms.

Depth: 1-107 m.

Southern California to the lower ¾ of the Gulf of California to Chile, including Galapagos, Revillagigedos, Cocos.

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  • Brackish
  • Marine
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Rocks
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Sand & gravel
  • Corals
  • Freshwater
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • South Temperate (Peruvian Province )
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30.3
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 107