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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 8:28 EDT

Nile Puffer, Tetraodon lineatus

Image Credit: Earedien/Wikipedia

The Nile puffer is also known as the fahaka pufferfish, globe fish, or lineatus puffer. It is a tropical freshwater puffer found in the river basins of Africa, mainly in the Nile and surrounding rivers. The fish will live in weed beds, and in any other vegetation-rich habitat. It can also be found in open water.

If kept as a pet it is best to keep it solitary. The Nile puffer is territorial and aggressive toward other fish. Even young Nile puffer will attack and kill other fish. It is a fairly fast swimmer, even though it lacks pectoral fins.

The young Nile puffer is faintly colored with spots, splotches, and stripes. As it grows the adult coloration will develop. While resting the fish will show almost no coloration, but will resume its normal color after it awakes. An ill or stressed fish will be darker. Also when stressed, as most puffer species, it will take in water to expand its body. The average length of this fish is around 18 inches.

The flesh of the Nile puffer is toxic, and should not be eaten, although when bred in captivity, the toxins seem to dissipate over time.

In the wild the Nile puffer will feed in the shallow areas of the river in weed beds and other vegetation. When searching for clams, snails and mollusks, the Nile puffer will shoot a stream of water into the ground to uncover its prey. It also feeds on crustaceans and small invertebrates. It captivity it can be trained to eat non-living food, but need to have the shells for grinding down the teeth. It is not recommended feeding this species flaked food.

Spawning of this fish is done in the open water of the river it inhabits, but little is known of the breeding habits of the Nile puffer. The only difference between male and female of this species is the female will have a larger abdomen when full of eggs.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Tetraodontiformes

Family: Tetraodontidae

Nile Puffer Tetraodon lineatus