Chelonodon patoca (Hamilton, 1822)
Milkspotted puffer
Chelonodon patoca
photo by Iranian Fisheries Research Organization (IFRO)

Family:  Tetraodontidae (Puffers), subfamily: Tetraodontinae
Max. size:  38 cm SL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 4 - 60 m, anadromous
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Admiralty Islands, New Britain and Trobiand Islands, north to China, south to northern Australia.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 9-11; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 8-10. Body covered with prickles (Ref. 559). Description: Characterized by having a maximum body depth 2.6-3.0 in SL; eye diameter 3.0-4.3 in head length; snout 2.2-2.4 in head length; evenly arched dorsal profile of body; more or less flat interorbital space; round depression in front of each eye, nasal organ, surrounded by low fleshy rim produced into short triangular flap on anterior and posterior edge; smooth skin except patches of spinules on back, throat and belly; truncate to slightly rounded caudal fin (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Inhabits coastal waters and enters the lower reaches of rivers and lagoons (Ref. 4833). Occurs on sand and mudflats, usually in estuaries (Ref. 48637). Usually found around the mouths of rivers or in brackish mangrove estuaries and sometimes penetrates fresh water, but is never found more than a few km from the sea (Ref. 2847, 44894). Often in schools and sometimes swims up freshwater streams (Ref. 48637). Considered a delicacy in Japan (Ref. 12484).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 08 June 2011 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  poisonous to eat
Country info:   

Entered by: Binohlan, Crispina B. - 25.11.92
Modified by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 05.04.18
Checked by: Casal, Christine Marie V. - 02.09.96

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