Article

Ichthyological Research

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 225-234

First online:

Freshwater fugu or pufferfishes of the genusTetraodon from the Mekong basin, with descriptions of two new species

  • Tyson R. RobertsAffiliated withDepartment of Ichthyology, California Academy of Sciences

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Abstract

The fresh waters of the Mekong basin are inhabited by five species of the pufferfish genusTetraodon Linnaeus, 1758 (sensu lato): the widely distributedT. leiurus Bleeker, 1851; two previously described species endemic to the Mekong,T. baileyi Sontirat, 1989 andT. suvattii Sontirat & Soonthornsathit, 1985; one new species endemic to the Mekong basins.Tetraodon baileyi has now been collected numerous times but only in or near rapids;T. abei, T. barbatus andT. suvattii are often but not exclusively associated with rapids or at least swift flowing streams; whileT. leiurus is found in almost all habitats except rapids.Tetraodon abei andT. barbatus are closely related toT. leiurus, from which they differ most strikingly in coloration.Tetraodon survattii differs from all of the others in having a strongly upturned mouth and light and dark stripes or spots radiating outwards from the eye.Tetraodon baileyi, the most distinctive Mekong pufferfish, has head and body more or less extensively covered with dermal cirri and is entirely scaleless.

Key words

Tetraodon abei Tetraodon baileyi Tetraodon barbatus Tetraodon leiurus Tetraodon suvattii