Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory



<I>Tetraodon erythrotaenia</I>, Escape River, Queensland

Tetraodon erythrotaenia, Escape River, Queensland

<I>Torquigener pleurogramma</I>

Torquigener pleurogramma


Regional Maps

External Links

CAAB: 37467000


Blowfishes, Pufferfishes, Puffers, Toadfishes, Toadoes, Tobys

Compiler and date details

Douglass F. Hoese, Dianne J. Bray & Gerald R. Allen


Nineteen genera and 130 species are recognised by Nelson (2006) as belonging to Tetraodontidae. Nelson (2006), however, appears not to have included various genera recognised by Hardy (1982, 1984). With the inclusion of these and other more recently described genera the total number of genera is 24. Tetraodontids are well represented in Australia, by 15 genera and 59 species with one additional genus and three additional species from Norfolk Island and Christmas Island..

Pufferfishes are found worldwide in mostly coastal and pelagic oceanic environments where they occur in a variety of habitats such as estuaries, soft bottoms in coastal embayments, coral reefs and the continental shelf. Some species also live in fresh water. Most pufferfishes carry a highly toxic poison, tetrodontoxin, in their viscera, and this can be fatal to humans if consumed. Maximum size is around 90 cm in length.

Australian species have not been fully revised, but G. Hardy has dealt with numerous species in various publications: Hardy (1981) revised Contusus; Hardy & Hutchins (1981) revised Omegophora; Hardy (1983) revised Australian species of Torquigener; and Hardy (1989) provided a key to species of Torquigener. Allen & Randall (1977) revised Canthigaster and Hardy (1994) dealt with the Australian temperate species. Many of the species are treated by Ebert (2001). Relationships of the family are treated by Winterbottom (1974), Tyler (1980) and Santini & Tyler (2003). Yamanoue et al. (2011) presented a phylogeny of some genera.


General References

Allen, G.R. & Randall, J.E. 1977. Review of the sharpnose pufferfishes (subfamily Canthigasterinae) of the Indo-Pacific. Records of the Australian Museum 30(17): 475-517 figs 1-15

Ebert, K. 2001. The puffers of fresh and brackish waters. Aqualog: reference fish of the world 16: 1-96

Hardy, G.S. 1981. A redescription of the pufferfish Contusus richei (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae), and description of a second species of Contusus. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 8: 11-23 figs 1-3

Hardy, G.S. 1982. Two new generic names for some Australian pufferfishes (Tetraodontiformes : Tetraodontidae), with species redescriptions and osteological comparisons. The Australian Zoologist 21(1): 1-24 figs 1-6

Hardy, G.S. 1983. Revision of Australian species of Torquigener Whitley (Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae), and two new generic names for Australian puffer fishes. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 13(1/2): 1-48 figs 1-18

Hardy, G.S. 1984. Tylerius, a new generic name for the Indo-Pacific pufferfish, Spheroides spinosissimus Regan, 1908 (Tetraodontiformes : Tetraodontidae) and comparisons with Amblyrhynchotes (Bibron) Duméril. Bulletin of Marine Science 35(1): 32-37 figs 1-2

Hardy, G.S. 1989. Description of a new species of Torquigener Whitley (Pisces: Tetraodontidae) from South Africa, with a key to the genus. Records of the National Museum of New Zealand 3(11): 119-123 fig. 1

Hardy, G.S. 1994. Family Tetraodontidae. pp. 902-912, figs 795-804 in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & Kuiter, R.H. (eds). The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. Adelaide : State Printer 992 pp. 810 figs.

Hardy, G.S. & Hutchins, J.B. 1981. On the validity of the pufferfish genus Omegophora Whitley (Tetraodontidae) with description of a new species. Records of the Western Australian Museum 9(2): 187-201 figs 1-3

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the World. Hoboken, New Jersey : John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 601 pp.

Santini, F. & Tyler, J.C. 2003. A phylogeny of the families of fossil and extant tetraodontiform fishes (Acanthomorpha, Tetraodontiformes), Upper Cretaceous to Recent. Journal of the Linnean Society of London, Zoology 139: 565-617

Tyler, J.C. 1980. Osteology, phylogeny, and higher classification of the fishes of the order Plectognathi (Tetraodontiformes). National Marine Fisheries Service (U.S.). Technical Report 434: 1-422 figs 1-326

Waite, E.R. 1924. Illustrations and notes on some Australian fishes. Records of the South Australian Museum (Adelaide) 2: 479-487 [pl. 30]

Winterbottom, R. 1974. The familial phylogeny of the Tetraodontiformes (Acanthopterygii : Pisces) as evidenced by their comparative myology. Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology 155: 1-102 figs 1-185

Yamanoue, Y., Miya, M., Doi, H., Mabuchi, K., Sakai, H. & Nishida, M. 2011. Multiple invasions into freshwater by pufferfishes (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae): a mitogenomic perspective. PLoS ONE (Public Library of Science) 6(2): 1-13


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-Feb-2010 (import)