Tetraodontiformes

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The ocean sunfish (Mola mola)  is the heaviest known bony fish in the world. It has an average adult weight of 1,000 kg.

Seagrass Filefish | ©Blogie

Acreichthys tomentosus (Tetraodontiformes - Monacanthidae) is also known as Bristle-tail filefish. It is a reef-associated and non-migratory species, found at depths of 2 to 15m.

With its body color and markings, this filefish mimics the seagrass where it is often found.

Specimen shown was photographed at a depth of about 5m during a very late night dive at Isla Reta Beach Resort, Talikud Island, Philippines.

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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

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Monacanthidae-Rudaris-R.excelsus

Images: Marine Conservation Cambodia and Zubi 09

MEET THE MANY-LINED PUFFER: A NEW FUGU FOUND IN JAPAN

YASSS!! New species of pufferfish, called Many-lined puffer (Arothron multilineatus), this awesome new puffer species is described by Keiichi Matsuura in Ichthyological Research.

The Many-lined puffer is big, with a length close to half a meter. It’s amazing that such a large and striking fish has gone unnoticed, and the kicker is that this species is not even restricted to Japan! Further investigation has revealed underwater photographs of this fish from all over the Indo West Pacific and even as far as the Red Sea.

Arothron is a genus of pufferfishes  commonly known as the Fat puffers, the Many-lined puffer is the 15th fish on the genus

Underwater photographs of this new pufferfish have revealed that it is widely distributed in the tropical regions of the Indo-West Pacific including the Red Sea. The appearance of the fish in underwater photographs is not exactly consistent. In the image below, the specimen from Japan has a bright white belly, slightly reticulated stripes on the body and a spotted tail fin. Meanwhile in the image of the same species from the Red Sea the specimen has much more consistent and thinner stripes that extend all the way to the tail fin. 

- Variation in the appearance of Arothron multilineatus, picture above from Japan (by Kimiaki Ito) and below in the Red Sea (by Richard Field)

The discrepancy could be due to regional variation but the description of Arothron multilineatus doesn’t include any genetic analysis. Without genetics to confirm the identity of this species, and its relationship to other pufferfish in the Arothron genus, it’s possible that we could be dealing with a regularly occurring hybrid.

BlueBox - Hawaiian Reef | ©Barry Fackler

Ostracion meleagris (Tetraodontiformes - Ostraciidae) is a boxfish commonly known as White-spotted boxfish.

This species occurs in the Indo-Pacific and Eastern Pacific: East Africa to the Mexico, north to southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to New Caledonia and the Tuamoto Islands. The subspecies Ostracion meleagris camurum is found in the Hawaiian Islands and Ostracion meleagris clippertonense in the Eastern Pacific.

Source

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Valentinni’s Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster valentini)

Also known as the Saddled Puffer or Black Saddled Toby, Valentinni’s sharpnose puffer, is a species of puffer fish (Tetraodontidae) which is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and oceanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. C. valentini typically inhabits rocky and coral reefs, lagoons an external reefs at depths of at most 55 m. C. valentini is active during the day, feeding mainly on filamentous green and red algae, tunicates, and sometimes corals/bryozoans and other various other marine invertebrates. C. valentini is very poisonous and can cause harm if ingested. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetradontiformes-Tentraodontidae-Canthigaster-C. valentini

Image: Jenny Huang

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Picasso Triggerfish - Rhinecanthus aculeatus

Commonly known as Picasso Triggerfish, and White-banded triggerfish, Rhinecanthus aculeatus (Tetraodontiformes - Balistidae) is a reef fish native to the Indo-Pacific, commonly found in subtidal reef flats and shallow protected lagoons.

This triggerfish is easily distinguished by its angular body, distinctive color pattern (resembling blocks of colors), fin arrangement, and characteristic dorsal spine. This forward spine on the dorsal fin lies slightly above and behind the eye. It is very strong and rigid, serving as defense adaptation. When this spine is raised, it often locks in this protective position, giving the triggerfish its name.

Due to its stunning appearance, the Picasso Triggerfish has a high commercial value for aqauriums.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Indra Günther | Locality: Kuredhu, Lhaviyani Atoll, Maldives (2013) | [Top] - [Bottom]

Fahaka Pufferfish (Tetraodon lineatus)

Also known as the Nile Puffer, Lineatus Puffer, or the Globe Fish, the fahaka pufferfish is a species of tropical freshwater pufferfish (Tetraodontidae) which occurs in the Nile River and other river basins in Africa. Like other pufferfish, when disturbed T. lineatus boasts the ability to inflate when threatened and carries the toxin Tetrodoxin. Fahaka pufferfish are primarily molluscivorous and will forage in the benthic zone for freshwater mussels and snails. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Tetraodontidae-Tetraodon-T. lineatus

Image: Earedien

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As for this behavior of solidarity showed by this pufferfish, actually it might  be common among the different fish species (see Fish care for their partners).

Despite the old beliefs that fish generally lack sensitivity or intelligence, a recent study found that these animals are, in fact, smarter and more social than previously thought, and could have consciousness and emotionality.

A Yellowmargin triggerfish photographed in habitat at Kuredu House Reef, Maldives. This triggerfish belongs to the species Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus (Teraodontiformes - Balistidae), and inhabits coastal to inner reefs, and estuaries, often in silty habitats, in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is known that adult specimens can reach up to 60cm length.

[Source].

Photo credit: ©Ülar Tikk

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Blacksaddle Filefish (Paraluteres prionurus)

…a species of filefish (Monacanthidae) which is typically observed in pairs or small schools in reefs across the Indian and Pacific oceans.the blacksaddle filefish is known for mimicking the pufferfish Canthigaster valentini, C. valentini is highly poisonous, and P. prionurus is not an gains protection by looking like a poisonous species. The two species are often seen schooling together. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Actinopterygii-Tetraodontiformes-Monacanthidae-Paraluteres-P. prionurus

Image: Jens Petersen