A friendly, chubby pufferfish encounter

08 Oct 2017

Recently at Vakaru Etere Thila divers from Vakarufalhi had an encounter with a very hungry map pufferfish, which posed during its lunch break in front of the cameras.

The map pufferfish (Arothron mappa) belongs to the Tetraodontidae family. The scientific name refers to the four large teeth, fused into an upper and lower plate, forming a kind of strong beak useful for their diet. They are known for their very interesting personality, their capability to accumulate toxins in the liver and, of course, their ability to puff up as defense technique.

Even if they usually are very shy and elusive, this pufferfish seemed totally oblivious to the attention it was getting, continuiing to feed on its delicious meal which included algae, sponges and benthic invertebrates. The divers were quite surprised by it’s incredibly swollen tummy, possibly caused by intestinal parasites (quite common amongst this family), or it could be full of eggs, or simply because its feast was so rich.

When the group said goodbye to their chubby friend, it was still keen to eat more!

Take a look at the video captured by Antonio.