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; 54°N - 29°N
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).
Western Atlantic: Newfoundland in Canada to northeastern Florida in USA.
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.
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: minor commercial; aquarium: commercial
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.02512 (0.01110 - 0.05685), b=2.94 (2.75 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-BS (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) .