A Toxic Saddled Puffer

Canthigaster valentini

A saddled puffer (Canthigaster valentin), also known as the valentinni’s sharpnose Toxic Saddled Puffer or black saddled toby, photographed while scuba diving off the coast of Dar es Salaam. Saddled puffers inhabit rocky and coral reefs throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean, Read Sea and Pacific Ocean.

The fish can be identified by its four distinct black stripes (saddles) on its back. The head is blue-grey and the main body is white speckled with blue-grey spots. The tail and fins show hints of yellow and there is a rainbow streak of color behind the eyes.

Saddled puffers are highly poisonous and are occasionally found in schools together with Paraluteres prionurus, a non-toxic filefish which has evolved to mimic the very toxic saddled puffer for protection against predators.

Photo shot with a Sony DSC-RX100M II CameraToxic Saddled Puffer 2 in a Nauticam housing with a INON S-2000 StrobeToxic Saddled Puffer 1 and a hand-mounted SOLA 2100 Video Light.