Pufferfish Of Koh Tao

The pufferfish on Koh Tao, and elsewhere, have a unique and distinctive natural defense has developed because of it’s slow swimming ability. It moves by combining pectoral, dorsal, anal, and caudal fin motions which makes it very maneuverable, but vulnerable.  They have excellent eyesight and combined with a sudden burst of speed from their tail is the first defense against predators. The pufferfish’s secondary defense is to fill its extremely elastic stomach with water until it is much larger and almost round in shape.  Hence the name.  They are typically small to medium size but some species can grow to lengths greater than 50 cm.
Sealfaced pufferfish

Buoyancy is looking good


The majority of the pufferfish species are poisonous and in some the internal organs, such as the liver, and sometimes the skin contains tetrodotoxin.  Very poisonous to most animals when eaten; nevertheless, the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in Japan but has to be prepared by certified chefs.

They are very similar to porcupinefish, which have large external spines whereas pufferfish have thin ones only visible when they puff up.

Their diet consists mostly of algae and small invertebrates and they can survive on a vegetarian diet if their environment is lacking in other types of food, but prefer an omnivorous food selection.  The Keto diet doesn’t work for them.

Divers watching a Starmap pufferfish

Cheeky guy was hanging out above White Rock, watching the divers

Where Can You Find Them?

You can find them around many of the dive sites of Koh Tao, while completing your scuba certification.  Moving slowly through the water watching the divers intently. Sometimes they can be found hiding under rocks during the daytime.  But due to their nocturnal habits, you will likely see more active pufferfish on a night dive.  We do night dives as part of the Advanced course, making it a better opportunity to see them.

Sealfaced pufferfish

A Sealfaced pufferfish

Sealface pufferfish at Twins, Koh Tao

Want To Learn More About Marine Life On Koh Tao?

So if you are interested in learning about Koh Tao marine life you can study the Fish Identification or Marine Ecology courses online.

How Do I Sign Up For A Diving Course On Koh Tao?

Contact us 🙂 Easy.

Any questions? If you are interested in more scuba certification on Koh Tao contact us or you can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below or follow us on Facebook or Instagram

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