Diamond Leatherjacket (Rudarius excelsus)

…a small species of filefish that is found in the Western Pacific, ranging from northern Australia to southern Japan. Diamond leatherjackets inhabit sheltered coastal reefs and seagrass fields where they will feed on algae and small invertebrates.

The diamond filefish is also the smallest species in Tetraodontiformes



Images: Marine Conservation Cambodia and Zubi 09


Part 12 of my documentary, “Mucky Secrets”, about the marine life of the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia.

In this video I look at fishes in the order Tetraodontiformes. First of all we encounter a very young boxfish, possibly a longhorn cowfish, Lactoria cornuta. Along with toxic skin, the boxfish’s main defence is a very hard carapace of bony plates. The juvenile’s coloration helps it remain unnoticed while the body hardens.

Next is a juvenile thornback cowfish, Lactoria fornasini, sheltering in Halimeda algae. Juvenile boxfishes and pufferfishes often tuck their tail to one side when it is not needed for swimming.

Next we meet a juvenile starry puffer, Arothron stellatus, and its dramatically different adult counterpart.

Although puffers are slow movers, the tail can give them a great turn of speed when threatened. As a further defence, puffers can inflate their bodies with water, vastly increasing their size and revealing short, sharp spines on their skin.

They are believed to be the second most poisonous vertebrate on earth, after the golden poison frog. However some predators can tolerate the toxin, and some parts of them are carefully prepared as a delicacy in Japan, Korea and China.

The juvenile guineafowl puffer, Arothron meleagris, has a black and yellow coloration that advertises its toxicity to potential predators. This is a common combination of warning colors in the animal kingdom.

More elongate puffers are found in the Lembeh Strait too. We encounter a narrow-lined puffer, Arothron manilensis, at Hairball and a shortfin puffer, Torquigener brevipinnis, at TK.

Sharpnose puffers, also known as tobies, have elongated snouts and slimmer bodies. We meet at a Valentini puffer, Canthigaster valentini, a Bennett’s sharpnose puffer, Canthigaster bennetti, and a compressed toby, Canthigaster compressa.

The birdbeak burrfish, Cyclichthys orbicularis, is a type of porcupinefish. It is covered in spines which are permanently erect, and it can inflate its body like puffers. It’s eyes contain iridescent green specks.

Conversely, the spines of the long-spine porcupinefish, Diodon holocanthus, lie flat against its body when not it is not inflated.

Finally we encounter a long-spine porcupinefish sharing its home with a small birdbeak burrfish.

Masked triggerfish / メガネハギ

Sufflamen fraenatus

Masked triggerfish
It’s distributed in the tropical zone in the Indo-Pacific region. メガネハギ

Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Balistidae
動物界 脊索動物門 条鰭綱 フグ目 モンガラカワハギ科

Photographs were taken at Shimonoseki Aquarium Kaikyokan, Yamaguchi, Japan.


Tetrodotoxin (TTX) - a potent natural toxin

Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin which derives its name from the fish order Tetraodontiformes that include the *pufferfishes, who are packed with this neurotoxin. A bite from a blue-ringed octopus, eating poorly cooked fugu or crab dishes, and prolonged skin contact with poisonous invertebrates are the potential ways TTX enters the human body. Dr. William H. Light who worked with TTX at the California Academy of Sciences said, “It is 10 to 100 times as lethal as black widow spider venom (depending upon the species) when administered to mice, and more than 10,000 times deadlier than cyanide.”

Keep reading

Takifugu poecilonotus / コモンフグ

Takifugu poecilonotus

コモンフグ Takifugu poecilonotus

Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae
動物界 脊索動物門 条鰭綱 フグ目 フグ科

Aquamarine Fukushima, Fukushima, Japan.

Reef triggerfish / タスキモンガラ

Rhinecanthus rectangulus

Reef triggerfish
It is the state fish of hawaii, and is called Humuhumunukunukuapua'a in Hawaiian, which means “trigger fish with a blunt snout like a pig’s”. タスキモンガラ

Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Balistidae
動物界 脊索動物門 条鰭綱 フグ目 モンガラカワハギ科

The picture was taken at Sunshine Aquarium, Tokyo, Japan.

Takifugu pardalis / ヒガンフグ

Takifugu pardalis

Takifugu pardalis
It is distributed around Japan, Yellow sea and East China sea. ヒガンフグ

Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae
動物界 脊索動物門 条鰭綱 フグ目 フグ科

The photo taken at Enoshima Aquarium, Kanagawa, Japan

Takifugu rubripes / トラフグ

Takifugu rubripes

An expensive-looking fish. 高級そうなお魚。

The Takifugu rubripes is more expensive than any other edible pufferfish.

Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Tetraodontiformes Tetraodontidae
動物界 脊索動物門 条鰭綱 フグ目 フグ科

Photo taken at Enoshima Aquarium, Kanagawa, Japan