Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Canthigaster punctatissima, Spotted sharpnose-puffer

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head, body & C: dense blue-white spots

Canthigaster punctatissima (Günther, 1870)

Spotted Sharpnose Puffer

Robust, slightly compressed, inflatable body; head large, blunt; snout long and pointed; 1 pair of small hole-like nostrils; nape with crest between eyes and dorsal fin; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a small 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 8-10 (usually 9); anal rays 8-10 (usually 9); pectoral rays 15-18 (usually 17); no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail fin rounded to bluntly straight, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, head and body with scattered tiny spinules, no fleshy skin flaps.

Overall dark brown, often yellowish brown on snout region, numerous small white spots covering head and body & continuing onto basal 1/4-12 of tail fin; sometimes a white line along base of dorsal fin and up to several short white lines radiating from eye ; belly whitish.

Size: grows to 9 cm.

Common on rocky reefs.

Depth: 2-24 m.

Central Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the offshore islands.

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  • Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Submerged vegetation
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Corals
  • Rocks
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Ectoparasites
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Sessile molluscs
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Data
  • Sessile worms
  • Benthic microalgae
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • Continent
  • TEP endemic
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Depth Range Max
  • 24
Depth Range Min
  • 2
Length Max
  • 9