Friday, 26 May 2017

Bandtail puffer: Sphoeroides spengleri

We first saw this species in the sea grasses bed of old dan bank and old sweat bank. Both sites mainly consist of open shallow water with vegetation composed of Turtle grass (Thallius testudinum), Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) and Manatee grass (Syrinidium filiforme). The Bandtail puffer (Sphoeroides spengleri) uses its unique color pattern to blend into the grasses. It has a pale stomach circled by a row of black dies. A white band runs the length of the body, encompassing the gill slit. The top has a molted brown, white and black pattern. They have thick skin covered in small scales. They lack pelvic fins and both the anal fin and dorsal are short. They do not pose ribs which allows them to suck water into their body to swell up and force spines out of their skin. They are posionous and can accumulate several types of toxins.While common in Florida Sphoeroides spengleri can be found from Massachusetts to Brazil and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. they will live in sea grass beds and on coral reefs. They also can tolerate a variety of water clarity conditions. The mainly feed on benthic organism consisting of small crustaceans like crabs and mollusks. Little is know about the reproductive habits of these fish. From what is know they appear to lay there eggs in clumps on the seafloors and do not guard them. The only threat to the species is occasional bycatch from shrimping trawlers. otherwise, there is no direct threat to them and they are therefor classified as a species of least concern on the IUCN red list.

IUCN status

bandtail puffer diet,life history, and morphology.

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