Bicolor Toby – Facts and Photographs

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

 

The Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish. They belong to the genus Canthigaster, whose members are called sharp-nosed puffers or tobies and who are much smaller than the larger puffers.

As with all Tobies they have the ability to take water into their stomach and blow themselves up to a larger size, hence the name pufferfish. This makes it more difficult for predators to swallow them. They are not commonly seen on Tanzanian reefs and are comparatively rare. As with other puffers, they have a symbiotic relationship with types of bacteria such as Pseudoalteromonas tetraodonis, which produces tetradotoxin which is a powerful neurotoxin.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

APPEARANCE

The Bicolor toby as their name implies are predominantly two colors. The top of the body is brown and the bottom is white. There are two yellow stripes, one runs along the border of the split in colors and the other is lower on the body. The white section of the body is covered in small blue spots and these appear more predominant on the yellow stripes. The lower caudal area is tinted slightly yellow as is the lower snout. The intensity of the yellow stripes varies from specimen to specimen. There is yellow around the eye with blue lines radiating out and light stripes on the front of the nose that are not always visible, depending on which angle one views the fish from. They grow to a maximum of 12cm.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

IN THE WILD

Bicolor tobies are very shy and are hard to get close to. They are usually seen solitary and will head into a hole or under an overhang when they see a diver. They are not commonly seen off Dar es Salaam on the coast of Tanzania in East Africa.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

HABITAT

Bicolor tobies are found across the west Indian Ocean and they are usually found in rubble areas from 18 meters downwards.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

DIET

Bicolour tobies feed on benthic invertebrates and algae.

REPRODUCTION

Little is known of the reproductive habits of the Bicolour toby, however all the Canthigaster species have similar mating habits, where the female prepares a nest in algae in the substratum and lays eggs which the male then fertilizes. Spawning takes place during the day and the eggs are left to hatch.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

AQUARIUMS

The Bicolor toby is not common in the aquarium trade.

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

BICOLOR TOBY CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Tetraodontiformes
Family: Tetraodontidae
Genus: Canthigaster
Species: C. smithae

IMAGES

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

Bicolor toby, Canthigaster smithae is also known as the Smiths Pufferfish

LITERATURE CITED

The Reef Guide
East and South Coasts of Southern Africa
Dennis King and Valda Fraser

EQUIPMENT USED

Canon 7D

Ikelite 7D Housing

Twin Ikelite DS 161 Strobes

Flat Ikelite Lens Port

Ikelite Dual Synch Cord 

Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.