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Species: Sphoeroides rosenblatti, Oval puffer

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convex & very wide between eyes
back: outer oval without front cross-line
snout = / < distance eye to gill opening

Sphoeroides rosenblatti Walker in Walker & Bussing, 1996

Oval puffer

Body oblong, thick, inflatable;  snout relatively short (equal to or slightly less than distance from rear edge of eye to gill opening); very wide (23-29% head length), convex 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 7-8; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin edge usually straight to convex, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin,  body and head spiny except in front of nostrils and on tail base;  skin flaps absent.

Dark grey above, tan sides, belly abruptly white; pattern of pale lines on upper body: 2 elongate ovals on center back are not preceded by a straight cross-bar, 2 narrow curved cross-bars between line across rear border of eyes down onto operculum, 2-3 lines across snout, curved line across back before ovals and down to pectoral base, 1-2 short lines behind dorsal fin; a broad band of small black spots along midside and often extending onto upper back, from operculum to tail base; fins except tail pale; tail inner ½ dusky, outer half black.

Size: 30 cm.

Habitat: demersal on soft bottoms in estuaries.

Depth: 1-20 m.

El Salvador to Ecuador.

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  • Freshwater
  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom only
  • Sand & gravel
  • Mangrove
  • Freshwater
  • Mud
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • No Data
  • Octopus/squid/cuttlefish
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic larva
  • Benthic
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Panamic province endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent only
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 20