Colomesus psittacus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
Banded puffer
Colomesus psittacus
photo by Holm, E.

Family:  Tetraodontidae (Puffers), subfamily: Tetraodontinae
Max. size:  29.3 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  demersal; freshwater; brackish; marine; pH range: 7; dH range: 10; depth range 1 - 40 m
Distribution:  Western Atlantic: Gulf of Paria to the Amazon River in Brazil.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 0-0; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-12; Anal spines: 0-0; Anal soft rays: 11-11. Body except for snout, pectoral base and caudal peduncle covered with prickles; teeth fused into plates, two plates on each jaw; nostril with two openings; body dark green dorsally with six transverse black bars, white ventrally; fins dusky green or dark brown (Ref. 13608).
Biology:  Solitary or in groups of 2 or 3 individuals but never in schools (Ref. 35237). Inhabits shallow inshore waters usually on soft bottoms. Frequently found in freshwater (Ref. 13608). When threatened, it becomes inflated like a balloon, in order to ward off predators. Carnivorous, feeding mainly on mollusks which crushes with its powerful teeth (Ref. 35237). Of negligible commercial importance and usually not marketed (Ref. 5217).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 07 June 2011 Ref. (123251)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   
 

Entered by: Luna, Susan M. - 26.02.93
Modified by: Reyes, Rodolfo B. - 02.05.16

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