Starry Puffer, also known as Stellate Puffer, Starry Pufferfish, or Starry Toadfish, is a type of marine fish from the Tetraodontidae family.
You can find it in shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific region. It prefers patch reefs and coral slopes near sandy areas in clear lagoons and seaward reefs.
Young starry puffers live in sandy and weedy inner reefs, while adults live in clear lagoons and seaward reefs.
Young starry puffers often stay close to shore on muddy surfaces and can be found in estuaries.
Adult starry puffers live on deep slopes and outer reefs, sometimes high above the ground or just below the water’s surface.
Their larvae travel long distances, allowing young ones to appear in subtropical zones.
These fish are known as giants among puffers because they can grow longer than one meter (about 3 feet). However, they are not safe for coral reef environments.
Starry Puffer Interesting Facts
- Starry puffers can grow up to a maximum length of 47.2 inches (120 centimeters), making them giants among pufferfish.
- They inhabit the Indo-Pacific region, thriving in shallow waters near reefs.
- Young and adult starry puffers have distinct habitats, with young ones staying close to shore and adults swimming in deeper waters.
- These fish are oviparous, laying eggs for reproduction.
Starry Puffer Habitat
Starry puffer lives in the Indo-Pacific region, from the Red Sea and East Africa to Indonesia, Tuamotus, southern Japan, and Lord Howe Island.
It’s found in marine and brackish environments near reefs at depths of 3 to 58 meters.
Starry puffer thrives in tropical waters with a geographic range of 36°N to 48°S latitude and 24°E to 132°W longitude.
Starry Puffer Physical Characteristics
Size: 21.3 inches (54.0 centimeters)
The maximum length a starry puffer reaches is up to 47.2 inches (120 centimeters). But it usually reaches around 21.3 inches (54.0 centimeters) long.
This fish has no spines on its back and has 10 to 12 soft rays on its dorsal (top) fin and 10 to 11 soft rays on its anal (bottom) fin.
Its body is covered with prickles. Young starry puffers have dark stripes on their belly, which turn into spots as they grow.
Adults may or may not have spots on their fins. This fish’s color is pale grey with black spots covering its head, body, and fins.
There are also large black spots near the base of the side and top fins.
The head and body of the starry puffer have small spinules everywhere except for the top of the snout, the base of the fins, and the side of the tail region.
Spinules are best developed on the bottom surface.
The snout is short, measuring about 1.7 to 2.7 times in head length; while the bony width between eyes measures about 2.2 to 2.4 times in head length.
This fish also has a rounded tail fin that measures about four to five times smaller than its standard body length.
Starry Puffer Reproduction
Starry puffer is oviparous, meaning it lays eggs.