The Stars and Stripes Puffer is commonly referred to as the Whitespotted Pufferfish, or Hispid Pufferfish. It is named appropriately because of its unusual markings of stripes over the top of the body and the spots on its underside making a very attractive and striking pattern. Like all other puffers, it can also inflate its body with water or air to intimidate predators. Once the Stars and Stripes Puffer inflates its body, it would appear twice its original size so that the predator can not even engulf it. Provide plenty of live rock to keep teeth worn down or be sure to trim teeth as needed. The Stars and Stripes Puffer should be fed with large chunks of meaty foods such as krill, raw table shrimp, squid, clam and mussel. It is also a good idea to occasionally supplement with some type of herbivore diet. The Stars and Stripes Puffer is semi aggressive towards other fishes, contains a lethal toxin called as tetrodotoxin in the skin and internal organs, making it poisonous to ingest. It is a hardy fish that needs minimum maintenance and makes a good choice for any aquarist. The Stars and Stripes Puffer should not be exposed to air while handling, as the ingested air is too tough to expel and makes it difficult to survive. It features a beak-like mouth that has teeth in both upper jaw as well as lower jaw, is fused into two ?plates?. The Stars and Stripes Puffer grows up to 14 inches in the wild but is typically imported at about 1-2 inches. It should be kept in tank not less than 30 gallons with plenty of place to hide and swim. It feeds on a variety of foods including algae, coral, sponges, starfish, mollusks, anemones, urchins and other invertebrates. The Stars and Stripes Puffer is nocturnal hunter just like other puffers, and would nip at slow-moving fish and long-finned fish, but is not aggressive with others in its own family. It is not at all reef safe species and should not be kept in a reef tank. Since the Stars and Stripes Puffer may eat invertebrates found in a reef tank, it is not well suited to the reef aquarium. It thrives well in a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.1-8.4.
They will do well in a fish-only aquarium. Keep only one per tank.The family of Puffers is a distinct family marked by their ability to ingest water into the ventral portion of their body causing them to blow up for protection. These fish also have incredibly strong plated mouth structures that are used to bite and crush even the toughest shells.Almost all puffers are slow swimming fishes with powerful jaws made up of fused teeth feeding on a variety of slow moving and often hard animals. Also have a poison in their skin, tissues and organs. The poison is an alkaloid nerve poison.They will do well in a fish-only aquarium. Keep only one per tank.Puffers have bodies that are very rounded and often tapered at the mouth and caudal (tail) fin regions. Color varies, but many species have light spots and or spines.Feeds mainly on mollusks (hard, powerful teeth enable them to break through mollusk shells); also fed on other invertebrates including sponges and coral.Photo by Saltwaterfish.com member, JohnyQuest: Chris Furman.