Howies Scuba

 Fish Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving

 Toadfish aka  Blowies

Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the Tetraodontiformes order. The family includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab.They are morphologically similar to the closely related porcupinefish, which have large external spines, unlike the thinner, hidden spines of Tetraodontidae, which are only visible when the fish has puffed up. The scientific name refers to the four large teeth, fused into an upper and lower plate, which are used for crushing the shells of crustaceans and mollusks, their natural prey...wikipedia.


 Banded Toadfish aka Weaping Toado

(Torquigener pleurogramma)

I had an interesting moment at Ammo Jetty. A banded Toadfish had been snagged on a hook and the line was wrapped around the pylon, and the fish was unable to swim free.

I grabbed the fish to release it but when I did it puffed up about 3 times its usual size and all its skin was covered fines spines.

I know these fish have poisons in their skin but how they deploy these I am unsure, however it was worth it to set it free.

Just to let you know I was wearing gloves at the time.

Juvenile Orange Barred Puffer
(Polyspina piosae)

I am presuming this is a juvenile by its size, approx. 5 cm's long.

I saw this on the way out and back from the Gareenup Wreck North Mole, but just presumed it was a Banded Toadfish and it wasn't until I returned home and checked out the days photographs that I noticed the orange bars.

Really well camouflage these fish.

....... and its still there........... Obviously I cant say its the same fish, but everytime I dive the Gareenup I see one of these in near identical spot half way from the groin to the wreck.......

Orange Spotted Puffer 
Torquigener vicinus )

When I first saw this Toadfish I thought it was just another Banded Toadfish, but I wasn't  100% sure, as the markings are slightly different, and the colours slightly paler, that said marking can vary within this group. 

Another slight difference was the confidence of this Toadfish. I know that may sound a bit strange, however Banded Toadfish are confident even aggressive little fish but, if you get too close generally they will dart off. This little guy just sat there in the sand and allowed me to get as close as I wanted.

I am unsure if it was performing some kind of task and this was the reason it let me get so close or just was not intimidated by little old me.

Another possibility was that it could have been the Orange Barred Puffer (previous) but again the orange marking aren't very prominent which it is with the Orange Barred Puffer.

So I was looking through a new resource book and there she was the "Orange Spotted Puffer".

Bottom two photographed at Wells Park Jetty, top images on the slope as I was exiting RWT.

Rusty-spotted Toadfish
(Torquigener pallimaculatus)
This really broad and proud looking fish was photographed at the KGT. There was just something about it, it was larger than the rest of the school of Banded Toadfsih, and it just stuck out, great profile, really strong chiselled face, the Arnie of Toadfish.

Ringed Toadfish
(Omegophoro armilla)

The Ringed Toadfish seem to be shy fish and getting close enough to get a decent picture remains difficult, as soon as you move towards them they just scoot off.

Photographs taken at Ammo & Robbs Jetty 

I think just by the size of this little one that this a juvenile Ringed Toadfish.

Photographed at Robbs Jetty. 

 Starry Toadfish
(Arothron stellatus)

One of my favourite pictures from Rockingham DT. Not because of the quality as you can see but this was the first time I had seen the Starry Toadfish and to be honest I did not have a clue what fish it was.

It sat there motionless and nobody else seemed to notice it. This fish was about 40 cm long but they can grow to over 1 meter in length. 

I had only ever seen this fish once on all my 500 dives locally in Perth. Dive the Gareenup Wreck in December 2014 and found this one doing its best to lie still in the sea grass and sand just before the groin on our return from the wreck.

Stars-and-Stripes Toadfish
(Arothron hispidus)

This beautiful little thing came to play at Ammo Jetty in July 2012.

First time I had ever seen this type at Ammo, and the first time I had actually ever seen this anywhere.

Lovely Markings, a little timid, but just sheltered itself rather scurrying off.

These next series of images taken at the RWT at one of the planes.

Again these fish seem a little timid but not so much that they rush off and hide but casually take their time but make sure they keep some distance.

Make sure you approach nice and slowly and make no sudden movements and you can get close enough and get a nice look at this quite beautiful fish.

I like the last image, showing the beak like teeth of this fish, looks like it could give you a nasty nip.
South West Blowfish aka Silver Toadfish
(Lagocephalus sceleratus)
Donated by Mel Turner.


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