Arothron nigropunctatus

Arothron nigropunctatus is a fish belonging to the order Tetraodontiformes that inhabits the coral reefs of tropical seas, at depths of up to 25 meters. Its geographical distribution ranges from the waters of East Africa to the islands of Micronesia, Samoa, the waters of southern Japan and Australia.

The body of Arothron nigropunctatus can reach 35 cm in length. Its body is oval and somewhat spherical in shape. It has a relatively short and rounded snout, in which halfway between the eyes and its mouth, which is terminal, we will find two pairs of nostrils. The mouth is equipped with 4 robust teeth. The skin of its body has no scales, that is to say it has a bare skin. It also lacks lateral line and pelvic fins. The dorsal fin as well as the anal fin of Arothron nigropunctatus are small compared to the body size and their bases are short. Both are symmetrical and are placed in a rather rear position on the body. The dorsal fin has between 9 and 12 soft rays, while the anal fin has between 10 and 12. The pectoral fins have between 16 and 20 soft rays. The caudal fin is rounded and has 10 main rays.

As for the coloration of this species, it is variable in terms of the base color of the body, from grayish, to light brown, through bluish, yellow, orange and sometimes with two shades of the previously mentioned colors. Generally around the eyes and mouth, the body coloration is usually somewhat darker than the rest of the body. Regardless of the coloration, there are several dark spots of variable size and shape all along the body.

Arothron nigropunctatus is a diurnal species, shy and very territorial, especially during the breeding season, and is usually found solitary. It possesses a toxin, like all Tetraodontiformes, tetradotoxin, which is capable of killing those species that try to devour it. For this reason, it is generally a species that other species will not try to capture. In case any species tries to capture it, it also possesses the ability to inflate its body by ingesting water or air, and considerably increase its body volume, thus preventing it from fitting into the jaws of the attacking species.

The diet of Arothron nigropunctatus is varied but carnivorous based, finding among the species it feeds on small invertebrates, sponges, algae, Acropora, crustaceans and molluscs.


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