When diving in Indonesia it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will encounter numerous species of pufferfish. Pufferfish are one of the cutest fish but they are also one of the deadliest in the ocean. Read on to find out more…
Species: There are more than 120 known species of pufferfish worldwide, many of which can be found at our dive sites across Indonesia. Pufferfish are also often referred to as blowfish.
Blowing Up: Pufferfish are not the best of swimmers due to their body shapes. Marine biologists think that the pufferfish developed their ability to “puff up” as a defence mechanism as they are easy prey for predators.
Pufferfish blow up by ingesting huge amounts of water into their elastic stomachs to turn themselves into an inedible ball several times their normal size. Some species of pufferfish have spines along their bodies which makes them even less edible.
Toxicity: If a predator manages to catch a pufferfish before it has had chance to puff up, it will receive a nasty surprise. Almost all species of pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin which is a foul tasty and lethal substance. The tetrodotoxin contained in one pufferfish is enough to kill 30 human adults and there is no known antidote.
Fugu: In Japan, pufferfish meat is (incredibly) considered a delicacy. It is only allowed to be served by highly skilled and licensed chefs! Unfortunately, many deaths occur each year from eating fugu.
Habitat: Most pufferfish are found in tropical waters which is why our stunning Indonesian dive sites is such a great place to spot them.
Size: Pufferfish range in size and shape quite remarkably. Around Amed, Nusa Lembongan, Gili Air, South Lombok, Bunaken and Lembeh you’ll find all manner of species. All have four teeth that are fused together into a beak-like form.
Diet: Pufferfish mainly feed on invertebrates and algae. Large specimens will even crack open and eat clams, mussels, and shellfish with their hard beaks. Poisonous puffers are believed to synthesize their deadly toxin from the bacteria in the animals they eat.
How many species of pufferfish have you seen? We are sure that we can show you even more at our Two Fish Divers resorts in Indonesia!
One way to see more is to combine diving in two or more locations while you are with us. We can help to arrange the logistics so all you need to do is dive! If you enjoy muck diving, you’ll find some of the strangest looking pufferfish in Lembeh, North Sulawesi and Amed in Bali.
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