White-spotted Puffer

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Arothron hispidus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
White-spotted Puffer

Why people love puffers: specimen at Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa. Max Smith/GNU


This is a species often available to aquarists in small sizes. It grows rather large but makes a great aquarium pet and is not especially aggressive.

It can be kept with other members of the genus, but keep only one individual can even be kept in a larger tank. It is a rather shy fish when first added to the aquarium, therefore, you will need to provide plenty of hiding places.

Once it is fully adjusted to the aquarium it is a bold hardy fish that can do great in a large tank with moderately bold fishes such as triggers, hawkfishes,groupers and larger wrasse.

Family: Tetraodontidae

Other common name(s):

  • Stars and Stripes Puffer
  • Hispid Puffer
  • Dogface Puffer

Native range:

Maximum length: 50 cm (20 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 285 L (75 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.


Its natural diet includes benthic invertebrates of all sorts (crustaceans, mollusks, echinoderms, algae, sponges, and others). In the aquarium it will greedily eat most foods, but should be offered a varied diet of meaty foods, including chopped shrimp, squid, clams, enriched krill, and fish—as well as preparations designed for herbivores. Feeding crabs, shrimp, snails, clams, mussels in the shell will help keep a puffer's teeth from becoming overgrown.

Aquarium Compatibility

Not recommended for aquariums with reef invertebrates. Will eat sessile invertebrates and coralline algae.

Special Care

It will probably need to be dewormed and the teeth may have to be filed down to prevent overgrowth, which can impede feeding.


The pufferfishes are demersal spawners, building a nest and guarding it. Larvae are planktonic and sometimes are carried long distances by currents before settling out.


See also: A Puffer Primer, Tetrodotoxin.

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Marine Fishes
Text credit: SWM