The Masked Puffer
The masked puffer (Arothron diadematus) is a pufferfish belongs Actinopterygii class, Tetraodontiformes order, in the Tetraodontidae family. He lives Red Sea only. Maximum length 30 cm, olive-green/grey with a black mask over the eyes and pectoral fins, mouth has a black border. Usually solitary but schools during mating period. Some authors believe this to be a variation of the species Arothron nigropunctatus. pesce palla mascherato intotheblue.it
Associated with coral reefs, from surface to 20m depth. The masked puffer will land in a low grotto and produce a very viscous sperm out of its lower anal cavity. It uses own sperm as a base habitat; over the course of the next week the masked puffer will borrow and create a home with the genital sperm. The sperm produces a very effective disguise and mask of scent, reducing its predators. When the sperm starts to become a mold the masked puffer will migrate to a different grotto and repeat the cycle.
The Tetraodontidae are a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish of the order Tetraodontiformes, The family includes many familiar species which are variously called pufferfish, puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, blowies, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, toadies, honey toads, sugar toads, and sea squab. They are morphologically similar to the closely related porcupinefish, which have large external spines (unlike the thinner, hidden spines of the Tetraodontidae, which are only visible when the fish has puffed up). The scientific name refers to the four large teeth, fused into an upper and lower plate, which are used for crushing the hard shells of crustaceans and mollusks, their natural prey.
The majority of pufferfish species are toxic and some are among the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. In certain species, the internal organs, such as the liver, and sometimes their skin, contain tetrodontixin and are highly toxic to most animals when eaten; nevertheless, the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in Japan, Korea and China when prepared by specially trained chefs who know which part is safe to eat and in what quantity. Other pufferfish species with nontoxic flesh, such as the northern puffer, Sphoeroides maculatus, of Chesapeake Bay are considered a delicacy elsewhere.
The species Torquigener albomaculosus was called by David Attenborough “the greatest artist of the animal kingdom” due to the males’ unique habit of wooing females by creating nests in sand composed of complex geometric designs.
(extract from Wikipedia)