Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer
Fish Type: Puffers
Scientific Name: Canthigaster bennetti
Max Size: 4"
Minimum Tank Size: 50 gal
Relative Care: Moderate
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria
The Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer is a lively fish adorned with a festive flurry of colorful spots and bars. Brilliant orange and turquoise spots and bars create a playful pattern as if confetti and streamers were scattered across a field. Beneath this colorful pattern is a body color divided by a stormy, olive gray dorsal half and a pearly white ventral half. The overall effect is an energetic coloration that suits the inquisitive and personable Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer.
The Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer belongs to the genus Canthigaster whose members are commonly called Sharp-nosed Puffers or Tobies. As such, the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer is also called Bennett’s Toby, Roseband Sharpnose Puffer, Roseband Toby or Exquisite Toby. In the wild, the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer inhabits open sand slopes and rubble zones located in reef flats and sheltered lagoons. This fact sheds new insight to the seemingly ornamental coloration and pattering of the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer. The cryptic markings (spots and bars) and countershading (dark dorsal region paired with a light ventral region) conceal the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer from potential predators (and prey) by disrupting its body shape. The ideal setup for the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer is a 50 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium aquascaped with live rock and rubble with easy access to large open areas. The Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer may try to eat invertebrates that it can fit in its mouth, found in the aquarium using its fused beak-like teeth to crush open its prey.
The diet of the Bennett’s Sharpnose Puffer should include a variety of meaty food and vegetable matter. Offer squid, krill, clams, and hard shelled shrimp to help wear down their ever growing teeth.