Latin name

Takifugu rubripes

Other names

Tiger puffer, torafugu.


The body is covered with barbs. Vertebrae: 21-22. This species is able to inflate into a balloon when it senses danger. They do this with the help of a large air sac that comes from the stomach. 

Features of fish fins

Dorsal fin has 16-19 soft rays, anal fin has 13-16 soft rays, no hard rays.  

Fish colouring

On the flanks, behind the pectoral fins, there is a large round black spot surrounded by a white ring. 


Northwest Pacific: western part of the Sea of Japan, East China Sea and Yellow Sea north to Muroran, Hokkaido, Japan.


A deep-water subtropical Asian species that inhabits marine and brackish waters of the northwestern Pacific Ocean. Adults remain in bays, sometimes penetrating into brackish waters. Juveniles are often found in brackish estuaries. As they grow, they move away from the coast.


Total body length reaches up to 80 centimeters, but is usually around 40 centimeters. 


Neritic demersal (bottom) non-migratory fish found at depths down to 100 m. They live singly.

Food and feeding habits

The Japanese puffer fish feeds on clams, crabs and worms. Their teeth are hard plates that allow them to gnaw through shells and mollusks.


Spawning takes place in the sea from March to May. The eggs are attached to rocks in quiet places at a depth of about 20 meters.


A highly profitable fishery. This fish is now farmed commercially in Japan. 

Relationship with a person

The liver and ovaries of these fish are fatally poisonous. The intestines are less toxic. The flesh, skin, and testes are not poisonous. It is a valuable food fish in Japan. It is used in Chinese medicine. 

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Tetraodontiformes
Family Tetraodontidae
Genus Takifugu
Species T. rubripes
Conservation status Near Threatened
Habitat Bottom
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 89
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Edible
Way of eating Bentophage

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Japanese puffer

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