A new pufferfish species


Arothron multilineatus

It strikes us that such a conspicuous, large (20 inch/50cm) fish with such a wide-ranging distribution in relatively shallow (SCUBA-depth) tropical waters is only now formally described.  It goes to show how much of the ocean we’ve yet to discover.

The diagnosis for the formal description is based on physiological descriptions of the collected specimens.  Genetic analysis has not been (yet) performed, so there’s a chance that we are actually looking at a hybrid or perhaps  more than one new, closely-related species.

Arothron_multilineatus3.jpg

Underwater photographs of Arothron multilineatus s. nov. a Ryukyu Islands, Amami-oshima Island, 40 cm TL, photograph by Kimiaki Ito; b Red Sea, size not recorded, photograph by Richard Field

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