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| Common names: puffer (English), botete (Espanol), tamboril (Espanol), pez-globo (Espanol) |
Arothron meleagris (Lacepède, 1798)
Heavy round body; head large, blunt; snout short; nasal organ is a double tentacle, with minute pits on opposing surfaces of each tentacle; eyes high on sides of head; jaws are a heavy beak composed of 4 fused heavy powerful teeth with a central suture on each jaw; a slit-like gill opening in front of the pectoral fin base; a single short- based dorsal fin at rear of body; a similar-shaped anal fin below the dorsal; dorsal rays 11-12; anal rays 11-12; pectoral rays 17-19; no pelvic fins; no spines in the fins; tail base as long as deep; tail fin rounded, with 10 main rays; tough scaleless skin, small spinules on head and body except snout and posterior tail base; no fleshy skin flaps.
Two color phases: black with numerous small white spots; or bright yellow, sometimes with black patches.
Size: grows to 40 cm.
Inhabits coral areas and rocky reefs.
Depth: 1-35 m.
Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific; the SW Gulf of California to Ecuador and all the oceanic islands.