Toadfish; Blue spotted
Blue spotted toadfish are a bony fish belonging to the family Tetradontidae, which includes all toad and puffer fish species. Characteristic of this group is the presence of the toxin tetrodotoxin making all species in this family extremely poisonous to eat. Even dead, dried specimens washed up on the beach or left on jetties can kill a child or pet. Interestingly the toxin is not known to be lethal to many fish species. All fishes in this family have soft rayed fins and a beaked mouth. Blue spotted toadfish are a reef dwelling species, being found on coastal waters from South Australia to the south west of Western Australia only. Blue spotted toadfish are similar in body shape to their relative the Ringed Toadfish (Omegophora armilla) having oval, rounded bodies which are pale yellow to grey but can be easily distinguished from their cousin by the presence of many iridescent blue spots. They grow to a maximum size of 25 centimetres. Males have a dark spot above the pectoral fin. Blue spotted toadfish feed upon benthic invertebrates including worms, crustaceans and molluscs.
Occurrence at the Busselton Jetty:
Occasionally seen from the observatory windows on the sea floor, during the 2012/13 summer. This species often use the jetty piles and invertebrate growth as shelter. They are easily distinguished from their relative the Ringed Toadfish by the presence of many iridescent blue spots over its body.
Image by: S. Teede