Offshore, Open Ocean
4 - 7 pounds
20" - 24"
The Oceanic Puffer (Lagocephalus lagocephalus) is a type of pufferfish found in sub-tropical and tropical oceans around the world. This pufferfish looks a lot different than any other of its family because it’s a lot less colorful. This fish can be identified through its blackish-grey to dark bluish-grey coloration on top that sharply turn silver with some black spots on the sides and white on the belly.
The Oceanic Puffer also has an elongated body. Its head is relatively large that is rather blunt and projects to the front. Its eyes are large and elevated while its mouth is small but well equipped with strong powerful teeth. Its triangular dorsal fin is situated almost at the back end, almost in parallel to its anal fin. The caudal or tail fin is rather small with a small base. All its fins are colored dark gray or black with the exception of the anal fin, which is lighter gray in color.
Although the Oceanic Puffer doesn’t have any scales, its skin is rather tough and it’s armed with small spines that run from the chin to the anus on their ventral side. Aside from that, its body is covered in mucus with a potent dose of neurotoxin called Tetrodotoxin, which can actually be fatal if consumed by predators—yes, including humans. And like other pufferfishes, it has the ability to “puff up” or make itself bigger than its normal size by ingesting huge amounts of water (and/or air), which deters predators to attack.
Oceanic Puffers usually eat crustaceans and squids. Bigger ones, however, are known to eat clams, mussels, and shellfish by cracking the shells with their tough teeth. Although most Oceanic Pufferfish grows to as much as two feet long and weigh as much as seven and a half pounds, there are some unconfirmed sightings of this fish growing more than two feet.