Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Tetraodontiformes
(Puffers and filefishes) > Tetraodontidae
(Puffers) > Tetraodontinae
Etymology: Sphoeroides: Greek, sphaira = ball + Greek, suffix, oides = similar to (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; brackish; demersal; depth range 10 - 183 m (Ref. 5951). Temperate, preferred 10°C (Ref. 107945); 54°N - 29°N
Western Atlantic: Newfoundland in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA.
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 36.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 7251); common length : 20.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 3821)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 7. Upper side grey or brown with poorly defined black spots and saddles. Belly yellow to white. Tiny jet-black pepper spots (about 1 mm in diameter) scattered over most of pigmented surface, particularly evident on cheeks. Lower sides with a row of black, elongate, bar-like markings. No lappets on head or body (Ref 53033).
Inhabits bays, estuaries and protected coastal waters. Sold as `sea squab' in northern part of range. Feeds primarily on shellfish, occasionally on finfish. Reportedly non-toxic.
Life cycle and mating behavior
Maturity | Reproduction | Spawning | Eggs | Fecundity | Larvae
Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray, 1986. A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 109396)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02692 (0.01222 - 0.05929), b=2.88 (2.70 - 3.06), based on LWR estimates for this (Sub)family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 4.0 ±0.66 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (K=0.6).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (24 of 100) .