Arothron Dog Face Puffer
Fish Type: Puffers
Scientific Name: Arothron nigropunctatus
Aggressiveness: Caution Needed
Max Size: 13"
Minimum Tank Size: 150 gal
Relative Care: Moderate
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria
The Arothron Dog Face Puffer, also known as the Blackspotted Puffer, gets its name from its resemblance to canines. It changes appearance during different stages of life. While in the gray phase, it is gray with black markings around the mouth, eyes, and dorsal fin. The pectoral fins have a yellow appearance. The half-yellow phase is denoted by a yellow underbelly and dark gray overcoat, while the face looks similar to the gray phase. It may also have black spots over the body, which may be gray or yellow. It very rarely changes phases while living in an aquarium.
The Arothron Dog Face Puffer lacks pelvic fins, but is very maneuverable, using its pectoral, dorsal, and anal fins. Instead of “teeth,” it has a fused beak-like structure which it uses to crush prey.
A 100 gallon or larger, fish-only, carnivorous aquarium is suitable. The Arothron Dog Face Puffer makes a great addition to these tanks with its great personality and unusual appearance. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef tank. It tolerates other Puffers that are not more aggressive than itself. It is shy at first, and becomes alarmed when in a net, therefore, use a container to transfer it.
The Arothron Dog Face Puffer needs a varied diet of meaty foods including; squid, krill, clams, and hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth.