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Commonly Asked Questions

Appears in Georgia Aquarium's:
  • Indo-Pacific Reef Habitat (Tropical Diver)

Range / Habitat

  • Occurs in the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea south to Durban, South Africa and east to the Tuamoto Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island and throughout Micronesia.
  • Found among coral heads and rocks of subtidal lagoon and seaward reefs in depths of about 3.3 to 180 feet (1–55 m).

Physical Characteristics

  • White with light brown spots and four dark brown to blackish saddles. The middle two saddles extend down to form two prominent dark bars extending from back to belly.
  • Can reach a length of 4.3 inches (11 cm), although averages 3.5 inches (9 cm). 

Diet / Feeding

  • Diet consists of filamentous green and red algae, tunicates. To lesser extent, small amounts of corals, bryozoans, polychaetes, echinoderms, mollusks, brown and coralline red algae.

Reproduction / Growth

  • Male is known to be territorial and maintain a harem. The dominant male in the harem will spawn with a different female each day.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Forms shoals (with 10 to 100 individuals or more) often mixed with the filefish, Paraluteres prionurus (about 5% of shoal), which mimics the toby to protect itself from predators. 
  • This toby is poisonous.
  • Also known as “Valentinni's sharpnose puffer.”

Reef Fish Identification. Allen, G., Steene, R., Humann, P., and Deloach, N., pg 419