Pao turgidus is a species of freshwater pufferfish native to the Mekong basin (Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam). It may also occur in the Chao Phraya basin in Thailand. This species grows to a length of 18.5 centimetres (7.3 in) SL.
These pufferfish are toxic, like many other pufferfishes. In Cambodia, poisonings caused by eating pufferfish caught from lakes and rivers are common and sometimes result in fatalities. The toxin, primarily saxitoxin, is likely acquired through food, and mostly accumulates in the skin. The toxin typically found in marine pufferfishes, tetrodotoxin, is toxic to the Mekong pufferfish, and does not accumulate similarly in the skin.
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- Kottelat, M. (2013): The Fishes of the Inland Waters of Southeast Asia: A Catalogue and Core Bibliography of the Fishes Known to Occur in Freshwaters, Mangroves and Estuaries. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 2013, Supplement No. 27: 1–663.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2012). "Tetraodon turgidus" in FishBase. November 2012 version.
- Ngy, L.; Tada, K.; Yu, C. F.; Takatani, T.; Arakawa, O. (2008). "Occurrence of paralytic shellfish toxins in Cambodian Mekong pufferfish Tetraodon turgidus: Selective toxin accumulation in the skin". Toxicon 51 (2): 280–288. doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2007.10.002. PMID 17996918.
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