Koh Tao Pufferfish

Pufferfish Of Koh Tao

Koh Tao pufferfish, and elsewhere, have a unique and distinctive natural defense that has developed because of their slow swimming ability. It moves by combining pectoral, dorsal, anal, and caudal fin motions which makes it very maneuverable, but vulnerable.

They have excellent eyesight and combined with a sudden burst of speed from their tail are the first defense against predators. The pufferfish’s secondary defense is to fill its extremely elastic stomach with water until it is much larger and almost round in shape.

Hence the name.  They are typically small to medium in size but some species can grow to lengths greater than 50 cm.

Masked puffer seen on the Koh Tao open water course
Masked Pufferfish at Japanese Gardens. A popular dive site on Koh Tao

Description of Koh Tao Pufferfish

The majority of the pufferfish species are poisonous and some of the internal organs, such as the liver, and sometimes the skin contains tetrodotoxin.  Very poisonous to most animals when eaten; nevertheless, the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in Japan but has to be prepared by certified chefs.

Likely, you are not going to find it on any of the menus of local restaurants.  Some locally caught fish is available but it is remarkably expensive.

They are very similar to porcupinefish, which have large external spines whereas pufferfish have thin ones only visible when they puff up.

Their diet consists mostly of algae and small invertebrates and they can survive on a vegetarian diet if their environment is lacking in other types of food, but prefer an omnivorous food selection.  The Keto diet doesn’t work for Koh Tao pufferfish.

Koh Tao diving has a variety of marine life, including pufferfish
A group of Koh Tao scuba divers watching a pufferfish

Where Can You Find Koh Tao Pufferfish?

You can find them around many of the dive sites of Koh Tao while completing your scuba certification or just fun diving.  Moving slowly through the water watching the divers intently. Sometimes they can be found hiding under rocks during the daytime.

But due to their nocturnal habits, you will likely see more active pufferfish on a night dive.  We do night dives as part of the Advanced course, making it a better opportunity to see them.

The star puffer is one a few types to be seen while diving on Koh Tao
A Star Pufferfish at White Rock Koh Tao

Want To Learn More About Marine Life On Koh Tao?

So if you are interested in learning about Koh Tao marine life you can study the Fish Identification or Marine Ecology courses online.  You do not need to be a certified diver either.

Anyone with an interest in marine ecology can sign up for an online course.  More courses are being added so if you do not see one then please send an email and we can check if one is available.

whale shark on the surface at Koh Tao

How Do I Sign Up For A Diving Course On Koh Tao?

Any questions about Koh Tao pufferfish or anything else diving-related? If you are interested in more scuba certification on Koh Tao contact us.

You can find out more about the diving we offer by clicking on the links below or follow us on Facebook or Instagram

What Other Diving Certifications Can I Get On Koh Tao?

Nitrox Speciality

Wreck Diving Specialty

Advanced Course

Fun Dives

Want To Know More?

Here are some other articles that you might find useful about Koh Tao.

How do I get to Koh Tao?

When is the best time to dive on Koh Tao?

Want to find out more about the SSI diver training agency?  Check the link here: Dive SSI

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