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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Tetraodontidae
Starry pufferfish
Arothon stellatus

Family Tetraodontidae
updated Nov 2020

Where seen? Sometimes seen by divers. On the intertidal, a dead and dying one was seen at St John's Island. Elsewhere, juveniles usually seen on muddy and estuarine shores. Adults in deeper water near coral reefs.

Those seen about 30cm, may grow to about 50cm to 1.2m! It is indeed considered the giant among puffers. Body covered with fine prickles. Pale grey with dense black spots on its head and around the eyes, also on the fins. Juveniles with dark stripes on belly, becoming spots with growth; adults with or without spots on fins.

Live one, seen diving.
Photo by Toh Chay Hoon from
Singapore Biodiversity Records 2019:54-55
Dead one that washed ashore.
St. John's Island, Dec 16
Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.

Starry pufferfishes in Singapore
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Dead/dying washed ashore.
St. John's Island, Dec 16
Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.



  • Toh Chay Hoon & Kelvin K. P. Lim. Blue-spotted pufferfish (Arothron caeruleopunctatus) observed in the Singapore Strait. 30 April 2019. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2019: 54-55 ISSN 2345-7597. National University of Singapore.
  • Tan Heok Hui. 29 July 2016. Starry pufferfish (Arothon stellatus) with barnacles in its gut sold for food in a market. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2016: 102-103
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