Smooth Toadfish, Tetractenos glaber

The smooth toadfish is found strictly along the eastern and southeastern coast of Australia from Queensland to Tasmania. It lives on muddy bottoms in both freshwater and brackish (salty) areas; also it is the most abundant fish in Port Phillip Bay. This fish will often swim in large schools entering estuaries with tide water.

The smooth toadfish is a small fish reaching a maximum length of 6 inches. The elongated body is thick from the head to the anal fin then tapers to a narrow tail. Body color of this species ranges from a sandy tint to a pale green with a white underside. Dark splotches cover the back with a dark band between the eyes, a second band between the pectoral fins, and a third one at the base of the dorsal fin.

The smooth toadfish will feed on mollusks and small crabs, and sometimes will bury themselves in the sand.

The smooth toadfish, along with other toadfish species, is known as “toadie” in Australia. The flesh contains tetrodotoxin which is a neurotoxin which can be fatal if consumed. It is also used in studies of heavy metal contamination of coastal waters because of the abundant population of this species.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Tetraodontiformes

Family: Tetraodontidae

Image Caption: Smooth Toadfish at Philip Island, Voctoria. Credit: StAnselm/Wikipedia