Sphoeroides maculatus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Northern puffer
photo by JJPhoto

Family:  Tetraodontidae (Puffers), subfamily: Tetraodontinae
Max. size:  36 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; brackish; marine; depth range 10 - 183 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Newfoundland in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8-8; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 7-7. Upper side grey or brown with poorly defined black spots and saddles. Belly yellow to white. Tiny jet-black pepper spots (about 1 mm in diameter) scattered over most of pigmented surface, particularly evident on cheeks. Lower sides with a row of black, elongate, bar-like markings. No lappets on head or body (Ref 53033).
Biology:  Inhabits bays, estuaries and protected coastal waters. Sold as `sea squab' in northern part of range. Feeds primarily on shellfish, occasionally on finfish. Reportedly non-toxic.
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 10 June 2011 Ref. (124695)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

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