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Current status: Former featured article


That's not a pufferfish, it is a porcupine fish. The picture should be moved, which is easy enough to do, but...shouldn't the picture also be renamed?

OK, now and is added to the new Porcupinefish page with the correct name. --Alan Millar

The picture appears to be back. This image also doesn't have any copyright info on it. Should it be removed? Aqua

Aren't porcupine fish a kind of pufferfish? 10:04, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Species List[edit]

Why isn't the species list in the taxobox? Rmhermen 15:50, Mar 11, 2004 (UTC)

Not sure. The latest edit with the species in the box is by me (00:31, 12 Mar 2004), but UtherSRG moved it outside while editing the taxobox. I guess either way has its merit, althogh I think its nicer to have it in the box. In any case I would like to thank UtherSRG for his work making the taxobox more standardized. Nice work! -- chris_73 16:13, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Tree of Life sets the standard for taxobox formats. The current accepted format limits the number of species to a reasonable handful - about a dozen or less depending on visual appeal. For lists larger than acceptable, the list gets moved off into the text. I'm not married to where I put it in the text. It's just where I thought the list would fit best. It should probably be massaged for formatting and such. If I have a chance, I'll get to it later today (I wiki while I work). Thanks for the question, and for the thanks! *grins* - UtherSRG 16:29, 11 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Bacteria that create the TTX in Pufferfish[edit]

"The pufferfish does not create the poison itself; rather it is generated by various genera of bacteria within the fish. The fish obtains the bacteria by eating food containing these bacteria. Pufferfish that are born and grown in captivity do not produce tetrodotoxin until they receive some of the poison-producing bacteria,"

Would anyone be willing to offer information into which bacteria this is exactly? --Cyberman 00:06, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

A few are mentioned in the tetrodotoxin article. Josh

pufferfish in zombification[edit]

Is this not the source of one of the toxins used in zombification? If so, I think it ought to be mentioned, along with an explanation of why the toxin is "useful" for this purpose. Are there any other "uses" of the toxin? Medical maybe? ww 13:48, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

I expanded the section with info from Zombie. It is reported that pufferfish are used to make zombies, but the info is not verified. I did not find a medical use except for one claim that stuff in a noni fruit is similar to the fugu poison, but not poisonous. And, supposedly, eating the poison and the noni stuff together improves health [1]. But I wont start eating fugu liver anytime soon. -- Chris 73 | Talk 14:45, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I was pretty sure this whole pufferfish-zombie idea was disproven a while ago. Something like, the region in which this zombification supposedly took place didn't have any puffers, or didn't have toxic puffers, or didn't have puffers with the right kind of toxin, or something along those lines. 19:42, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

First time post, so I'll simply assert that "zombification" is simply a colorful term for brain damage caused by TTX. I've researched TTX in the past and there were several accounts of these TTX "zombies". The best way to view "zombification" is as a chemical lobotomy. After the victim is dosed with TTX, he suffers from depressed respiration and blood circulation. An extended period of severe cerebral hypoxia results in permanent brain damage. What is produced could very much be described as a "zombie". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

Just so you know, a close professor of mine (who has a Doctorate and specialised in Neurobiology) was working with the government with pufferfish toxin and the ties to "zombification". Not only was he able to get "zombie powder" and find traces of pufferfish toxin in it from a Voodoo doctor, but also the toxin, if used correctly, created "zombies" in mice, therefore there was a strong indication that pufferfish toxin can create zombies. (I will not say it proves zombies can be created, because anyone who has studied in science knows that "proves" is a word that is avoided.) The whole "pufferfish-zombie" idea has NOT been disproven. Simply because not all places with "zombies" have pufferfish does not mean that pufferfish toxin is not an agent which can cause "zombification". SMA March 17th, 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:10, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

This discussion is ridiculous.To suggest that "zombification" is even remotely possible is ridiculous and this does not belong on Wikipedia. Besides, "reanimation" is the correct term. Zombie nuts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:06, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

mass garbage burial site[edit]

Revth: What's a mass garbage burial site? Do you mean a mass burial site of human remains or sort of an antique garbage dump? -- Chris 73 | Talk 08:16, 21 May 2004 (UTC)

  • Hmm... maybe garbage dump is better. The mass garbage burial site is called Kaizuka lit. shell stacks, in Japanese and referes to those that dates back over 2000 years ago. It was first discovered in the Yayoi area of Tokyo and was found to be almost exclusively made up of shells from shellfish and thus the name kaizuka. Many more had been found and those in western regions of Japan was found to contain bones of fugu. No human bones had been found in these places. As a side note, bones of fugu are large and unedible.Revth 14:23, 18 Jun 2004 (UTC)


When someone comes along who knows about this, info about keeping these fish in aquariums would also be interesting. jengod 19:21, May 21, 2004 (UTC)


I understand the toxin causes paralysis, which leads to asphyxiation (no movements of the lungs). However, does it also stop the heart? What is the treatment? (I suspect that it's possible to prevent asphyxiation using a iron lung... but it's probably trickier to deal with a paralyzed heart.) David.Monniaux 08:39, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The toxin has not been shown to cause heart paralysis, but can induce dangerous protocomatose states. Most deaths can be prevented by a respirator or rescue breathing, but death often occurs in minutes or hours, making it difficult to get the victim to a hospital in time. Victims often do not receive rescue breathing because bystanders are afraid of ingesting the poison, and emergency medical procedures are not as widely taught in countries where fugu is sold. --Chimon 18:14, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Victims also can be mistaken for dead, due to the weak, sporadic heartbeat. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:36, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

From Blue-ringed octopus:

Its saliva, which can be instilled through a painless bite or can be spit, contains the bacterial poison
tetrodotoxin, to which there is no known antidote. Tetrodotoxin, the same poison found in Pufferfish and
Cone Snails, can cause paralysis leading to respiratory arrest, which can then lead on to cardiac arrest
because of lack of oxygen. First aid treatment is pressure on the wound and CPR, and hospital treatment
involves respiratory assistance until the toxin is washed out of the body. The symptoms can vary in
severity, with children being the most at risk because of their small body size. If the victims live
through the first 24 hours after the bite they generally go on to make a complete recovery.

- UtherSRG 13:14, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

According to this excerpt from a scientific journal, it can stop the heart. There is also no known cure according to this textbook (Professor's notes?) publishing.



I think this featured article would be a good addition to the following ODP cats:

... perhaps described as ...

  • Wikipedia: Pufferfish Also known as blowfish or fugu. Provides consumption history, poisoning, social aspects, availability and species table.

Comments on category and description appreciated. -- sabre23t 02:24, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Sounds good. Can you add it to the list? -- Chris 73 | Talk 02:32, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, to the first cat. Can forward for review for the second cat. -- sabre23t 02:44, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Image removal and other issues[edit]

I've removed the following images because they are actually both long-spine porcupinefish, a species from a distinctly different family (Diodontidae):

  • Image:Pufferfish.jpg - caption: Ocean-faring pufferfish come in a variety of colors, but none swim particularly well.

Perhaps one could be re-added as an example of a fish easily confused with a puffer, but as the tetraodontid and diodontid morphologies are so ostensibly similar, I'm not sure it'd be worth it. I'll try to look for more PD photographs later, though I know of at least one other painting (if paintings are admissable at this point) that'd work.

Anyway, the taxobox was a bit messed up (the genus was stated as the family) and the species depicted in the taxobox is a white-spotted puffer (official name); as its binomial was taken from the image's outdated source text, it was also incorrect (genus is Arothron not Tetraodon). This also brings me to my question: Why does the taxobox imply there is only one genus in the family when there are at least 19? I know Takifugu may be most important when their edibility is considered, but the presentation is misleading. I won't change it without discussion, however. -- Hadal 11:45, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Tag Image:Pufferfish.jpg for removal as a duplicate and mis-named image. It's dupe should be usedon the porcupinefish article. IIRC, the genus problem is because this article was originally about Takifugu rugripes but got expanded to include all species of pufferfish, and the taxobox didn't get properly updated as the changes were made. - UtherSRG 12:10, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Obviously, I don't recall correctly. It's always been about the genus, obviously it needs to be about the family. that means removing the genus from the taxobox, and expanding the chart to include all the other genera and species, or making this article be about the genus, and creating another page for the family. - UtherSRG 12:17, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Hmm. With 121 odd species, completing that chart would be.. taxing. I'm not sure how to proceed. Input from this article's principal contributors (Chris 73?) would be helpful.
As for the image, I've flagged it: however, since both it and porcupinefish.jpg are exactly identical (same byte size, same format) would it not be a speedy deletion candidate? That's what I'm being told on chat. One last question: is the extra hierarchy (division, subdivision, superorder, series) in the taxobox really necessary? Teleostei is just a redirect to Actinopterygii, for example. -- Hadal 12:57, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Yes, I meant to tag it for speedy. I've gone ahead and deleted it. I anticipated the "taxing" response. Yes, it would, so I don't suggest it. Probably the chart should contain those species typically eaten, or just the most common species, or just remove the chart entirely. FishBase says 185 species. I agree that there are extraneous items in the taxobox. - UtherSRG 13:09, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Genus vs. Family[edit]

Why is this page about the genus Takifugu? It may be the type that most people eat, but there are many other types of pufferfish. One of the most common aquarium puffers is Tetraodon, and even the picture is of the genus Arothron. How much of this material should be moved to a separate page? Josh 04:17, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I've taken some steps to move this page to be more about the family. - UtherSRG 13:54, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Really, I think the main problem was this article was primarily about how pufferfish are eaten in Japan. Much of the material here was moved from fugu, but I think this merger was a mistake. Although fugu means pufferfish, it's usually used to describe only those which are eaten, which is why so much here was specific to Takifugu. The subjects deserve separate pages, and I've tried to separate out the fish from the dish accordingly. Some fact checking should be done about the fishes - for instance the page didn't properly distinguish between puffers and porcupinefish, which makes me wonder about things like them blinking. I'm not sure it should be featured. Josh

I disagree. (Note: I was the one who merged fugu and pufferfish in the first place). I liked the article as one piece better. Also, your splitting was sloppy, and much information on pufferfish would belong to fugu, including a taxobox. I also don't know why you threw out the table at the end. I'll revert your split for now, I think this needs more discussion. -- Chris 73 Talk 05:22, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)

Since the table only pertains to Takifugu, I moved it to a stub for that genus. I think it's very plain that it doesn't belong on the family page. The same is true for most of the information given here; why are types of knives used to prepare a very few species of pufferfish discussed on a page about all of them? In the split, I kept information about the fish, and moved stuff about the food. The two are separate topics, and there is enough information about both to justify separate articles. Whatever sloppiness I left, you could've helped correct.

Meanwhile, you have removed some factual corrections - namely that pufferfish don't have spines, and that Diodon isn't a pufferfish. I don't understand why you reverted. Several people have complained that the merge confused family and genera, and no reasons have been given for why the articles should be kept together. Please explain. For the moment I'll leave things as they are, since I don't want to start an edit war, but I strongly urge you to reconsider, and at the very least the corrections should be kept. Josh 06:15, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

The corrections should be added again for sure. About the split: Thinking about it for a night, yes, you might be right. When I merged, I made the pufferfish article about Takifugu only. Since then it has been expanded to include all types of pufferfish. A separate page for (taki)fugu might be in order. Please feel free to revert my revert, and I will adjust things on both pages as i see fit (for example include a taxobox on fugu, and the table with the edible and inedible species). I am just a bit busy this week. I will probably also apply fugu as featured article, and apply pufferfish for unfeaturing, since the most meat is on the fugu article. BTW, should fugu be moved to takifugu? Happy editing -- Chris 73 Talk 20:24, Aug 31, 2004 (UTC)

Ok, I recreated the split and moved the taxobox and species table back on to fugu. With them there, there's no particularly good reason to have a separate page for Takifugu until we have more information about the particulars of the fish, and I've made it a redirect. Thanks, Josh 21:32, 31 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Looks good. I would also include the "nontoxic fugu", the "shortest genomes", and the info about the "tetrotodoxin" to the fugu page. I also think fugu should be moved to takifugu. -- Chris 73 Talk 05:03, Sep 1, 2004 (UTC)

Tetrodotoxin is something found in most puffers, as well as the allied porcupinefish, and the short genome bit isn't specific to Takifugu, since it mentions Tetraodon nigroviridis. Both should stay here. Since the non-toxic fish article is about tiger blowfish, I'll move it. I'm not sure about moving the page; it seems to me like fugu is the common name, and certainly the one people will expect to find information about the food in. Josh 05:13, 1 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I would copy the info about the tetrodotoxin and the genome. It belongs to both articles. Currently fugu only has a passing reference to tetrodotoxin at the end, and I think there should be more. I certainly would like to bring fugu up to feature quality again. Thanks a lot for your work. -- Chris 73 Talk 06:34, Sep 1, 2004 (UTC)
I have now nominated fugu on Wikipedia:Featured article candidates and listed Pufferfish on Wikipedia:Featured article removal candidates. -- Chris 73 Talk 09:23, Sep 5, 2004 (UTC)

category: venomous animals[edit]

Why is the pufferfish in this category?

As I understand it, puffers are toxic, not venomous.


Neale Monks 15:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

True. 10:03, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

the fugu article[edit]

Found this paragraph in the fugu article....

Previously, it was unknown how pufferfish inflation took place. Recently, however, Dr. Peter Wainwright completed his analysis on the series of muscle actions which allow a pufferfish to inflate. First, the pufferfish fills its mouth with water. Then, it seals its mouth using a special valve at the bottom of the mouth. This valve flaps upward and covers the entire mouth of the fish. Next, a branchiostegal ray (a modified gill arch) pushes the water down the esophagus into the stomach. The extremely elastic stomach then expands. Depending on the species the fugu can achieve an almost perfect spherical shape.

and also, much of that article is copied directly from this one.... a bit of redistribution needs to be done, i guess. meepin out. Blueaster 04:23, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Not clear...[edit]

the part about tetrodotoxin should be in a separate article, and i agree with someone else who said that it should be more explicit. How does it kill exactly, how long does it take to kill etc. And a better picture wouldn't hurt either.

The puffer fish is described as the second most poisonous vertebrate, but elsewhere [1] among other places the stonefish is described as the most poisonous fish. Often they are both described this way on the same page. If the stonefish is the most poisonous fish, and the stonefish is a vertebrate, then surely it follows that the stonefish is more poisonous than the puffer fish, especially since as elsewhere described in this article the puffer fish itself is not the producer of the toxins, it's a matter of bateria. Gampgamp (talk) 09:44, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


Seems to be some confusion as to what lists should be in the article. It seems to me that the (linked) Genera should be listed in the Taxobox, & no list, either Genera or Species, should be in the body of the article. There would be just too many . Species can be found in the individual Genera articles. Any consensus? GrahamBould 08:21, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Looks great to me. BFD1 11:44, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Chewing Out Of Sharks[edit]

It's true! Darwin records it in The Voyage Of The Beagle! Dora Nichov 12:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)


Shouldnt this article be called the Tetraodontidae. Not all species within the family are referred to as pufferfish. For example - both species of Tetractenos and Amblyrhynchotes are known commonly as toadfish (at least in Australia) - where "pufferfish" (again in Australia) refers to fish that can inflate their body including Porcupinefish. Thoughts? My view would be the pufferfish article should say what "pufferfish" is - ie: an arbitrary group of fishes which can inflate their body. It's not (in my opinion) a good title for a family article. MidgleyDJ 19:44, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Agree. In British English, some of these fish are known as pufferfish, puffers, tobies, toadies, fugus, and probably other names I'm not aware of. Neale Monks 20:17, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Fine by me -- Chris 73 | Talk 21:29, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Agreed, never happy with vague term pufferfish. GrahamBould 09:11, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Since there seems to be a consensus, I moved the page, fixed the redirects, and also the FA removal link at the top. -- Chris 73 | Talk 09:32, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Excellent work Chris!! Should we also make pufferfish a stand alone disambiguation page - rather than a redirect? MidgleyDJ 09:37, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm. Unsure about this (meaning neither oppose nor support). Shall we wait for a few more comments? -- Chris 73 | Talk 09:51, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Done some re-jigging of Fugu and Takifugu for similar reasons. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 11:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Pufferfish in popular culture[edit]

I've hived off all the cartoon characters and whatnot to their own page. They don't really add anything to an article about biology, and a separate page gets rid of the overlong trivia section, which is now limited to scientific factoids. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 23:42, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

toxin section is contradictory and wrong[edit]

Not all pufferfish contain toxins, and not all the toxic pufferfish contain tetrodotoxin, not all get the toxin from bacteria, and not all have the toxin in the same places. Toxic freshwater pufferfish contain saxitoxin that they get from algae (dinoflagellates, I believe). The information below is from Ebert (2001).

Marine puffers Freshwater puffers
Toxin: Tetrodotoxin Saxitoxin
Source: Bacteria Unicellular algae
Location: Liver and ovaries (very small amounts in muscles) Skin (not internal organs)
Example: Arothron hispidus Colomesus asellus

Cheers, Neale —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Neale Monks (talkcontribs) 22:46, 16 February 2007 (UTC).

fragment reproduction[edit]

removed the section below from the introduction: perhaps it should be included in a section on reproduction. Any brood care noted in this group? MidgleyDJ 18:47, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Female pufferfish lay huge numbers of eggs, up to 200,000 per fish. The tiny, orange eggs stick to each other and settle to the bottom in huge masses. They hatch in about five days. The brightly-colored larvae begin feeding three days after they hatch. Young puffers are capable of inflating at seven days old when they are less than 1.2 cms (0.5 in.) long.
Varies enormously. Some freshwater species guard the eggs in a way similar to cichlids, with the male guarding the eggs alone and the fry for a short period (see Ebert 2001). Most are broadcast spawners that offer no broodcare. These are some freshwater species (I've added references to this in the Colomesus article) and all (as far as I know) marine species (requires ref. to confirm). The broadcast spawners have planktonic larvae. Cheers, Neale Neale Monks 20:14, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


the following claims are unverified and probably wrong:

Many people report being fully conscious during the entirety of the coma — bs: coma is by definition a state of unconsciousness

There is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote. — misleading: afaik, immediately taking patients into intesive care for 24h is enough to clear the toxin. lethal only due to paralysis of the lungs and heart.

Amazingly, the meat of some pufferfish is considered a delicacy. Called fugu in Japan, it is extremely expensive and only prepared by trained, licensed chefs who know that one bad cut means almost certain death for a customer. In fact, many such deaths occur annually. — more an urban legend than encyclopedic. in particular, i challenge the claim that it is the cause of "many deaths".

as a final remark, the whole section could use a rewrite. it seems more a loose collection of factoids than a coherent text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

It does need a rewrite, but I can verify that fugu leads to about 150 poisonings a year in Japan, half of which result in death. I'll have to look it up for references, though (I'm literally watching a documentary on venomous sea creatures at the moment, heh). As for the lack of the an anti-venom, I'm dubious but not certain; again, I'll see what I can dig up.
"lethal only due to paralysis of the lungs and heart" -- I'm not sure what to say here; regardless of how it kills, it is still lethal without treatment. As for the coma, it seems that some believe it to be not a true coma, but a sort of pseudo coma--so while observers may see all the signs of a typical coma, the person is still conscious.
On a side-note, please remember to sign your talk page comments with four tildes (~~~~)!  :) --HamatoKameko (talk) 02:10, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
This newsarticle [2] states that, according the health ministry, in 2007 three people died and 44 became ill (see last paragraph). In the article it is also stated that the poison "is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide, according to the Ishikawa health service association." In the paragraph of this article as well as the article Tetrodotoxin it is said to be 1000 times more poisonous (on date of writing this comment). --VanBurenen (talk) 20:31, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Drug development[edit]

I moved the paragraph about the drug to its own subsection. But maybe it should be removed together. This is an article about a fish, not about a toxin. I find it very unlikely that the fish has anything to do with the drug development. This toxin is not exclusive to this genus.Yobmod (talk) 15:44, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Food and drink Tagging[edit]

This article talk page was automatically added with {{WikiProject Food and drink}} banner as it falls under Category:Food or one of its subcategories. If you find this addition an error, Kindly undo the changes and update the inappropriate categories if needed. The bot was instructed to tagg these articles upon consenus from WikiProject Food and drink. You can find the related request for tagging here . Maximum caution and careful attention was done to avoid any wrongly tagging any categories , but mistakes may happen... If you have concerns , please inform the project members on the project talk page -- TinucherianBot (talk) 07:17, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

peanut butter[edit]

puffer fish love peanut butter but it will kill the puffer fish once it touches their lips —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^