Pufferfish are Poisonous – Contusus richei – also Globefish or Boxfish

Pufferfish The puffer fish is also known as toadfish, globefish or boxfish This is a small fish that is occasionally…

Pufferfish

The puffer fish is also known as toadfish, globefish or boxfish

A brace of pufferfish caught by a surfcaster from the beach behind the old railway station at Kaikoura. These fish may be Sphoeroides hamiltoni, but certainly of the Tetraodontidae family of fishes.

This is a small fish that is occasionally caught by surfcasters and rock anglers around New Zealand. When caught it inflates its body with water which greatly increases its apparent size. When out of the water they can inflate their bodies with air. This likely being a ruse to frighten off predators. All pufferfish have sharp spines that in some species cannot be seen until the fish inflates itself. Predatory fish that have swallowed a pufferfish risk choking if it inflates itself after being eaten.

This species of pufferfish is small reaching only about 15cm maximum length. The overall colour is light grey, being whitish underneath, with a darker grey to greenish brown blotches on the upper body. The skin is rough. The head and mouth are small though the fused teeth are very sharp. Pufferfish eat crustaceans and molluscs. They will readily take baited hooks.

Pufferfish on Wikipedia – Tetraodontidae family of fishes.

Found all around New Zealand but are more prevalent around the South Island. I have caught them from time to time surfcasting at Birdlings Flat near Christchurch.

The pufferfish is poisonous and should not be eaten under any circumstances. The whole body, but in particular the digestive organs, contain deadly neuro-toxins which can kill humans and other animals. Dogs are sometimes killed by the poison when they eat puffer fish washed up on the beach! Do not touch them with your hands should you accidentally catch one while fishing.

The pufferfish gives off a strong perfume like odour when hauled up onto the beach. The smell is not unpleasant but once experienced you never forget it.

This post was last modified on 17/10/2018 1:26 pm

Share
Leave a Comment

Recent Posts

Taxidermy Fish – Mounting the Whopper – Preparation Matters

Taxidermy Fish with Monty Wright Photo (1) Denis Brundell’s 16.5lb (7.5kg) brown trout. Each time we head out fishing we…

03/07/2020

Landbased Kingfish Downunder in NZ – By Scott Hollis-Johns

Landbased Kingfish Downunder in NZ - How to Catch a Yellowtail Kingfish off the Rocks - Including Excellent Advice for…

12/05/2020

Surfcasting Baits – Using different baits to target different species

Surfcasting Baits Using different baits to target different species Surfcasting bait is a very interesting subject. Different baits are used…

11/05/2020

Bikini Trout Twizel Canals Fishing Story

by Roland Brunner and Nantyia Boontong Determined anglers Nantiya and partner Roland have been travelling around New Zealand in their…

19/04/2020

Fly Fishing Getting Started – Excellent Advice for Beginners

Fly Fishing - Getting Started - Why quality advice really makes a huge difference By Graeme Smith Fly Fishing Getting…

18/04/2020

Boobie Fly UV Straggle Chenille – Excellent for fishing the Twizel Canals

Boobie Fly UV Straggle Chenille Trout Lure - Boobie or Booby trout fly. The boobie fly is a good imitation…

13/04/2020

All Rights Reserved © fishingmag.co.nz 1999 - 2020

Read More