These photos are either
my property, or belong to someone who has allowed me to reproduce their
property. Do not use without requesting permission.
If you would like to
submit a photo, please email
This is my T. suvattii, Mr. Scary. Note the prominent
V marking on his head. This mark distinguished this species easily from
the T. miurus. Very similar in shape and behaviour, the two species
originate from completely different continents. Currently, no research has
been done, but scientist believe the resemblance is only coincidental, an
environmental evolution for a predatory niche. Common names include Arrowhead
and Pig Faced Puffer.
A mostly sedentary species, burying themselves in the substrate
and waiting for prey to pass overhead is a common behaviour. I have seen
the fish swim for a period of time, exploring the surroundings and looking
for food. When disturbed my tank cleaning etc. an impressive burst of speed
can be accomplished. Tail thrashing at the surface seems to also be common,
so be prepared for a shower now and then.
In the wild, this fish lives in the rapids of the Mekong River
system and tributaries. A good current and excellent water quality is recommended.
Typically the substrate in its natural habitat would be rocky, but sand
also seems to be appreciated by the individuals I have kept in tanks. Normally
its diet consists almost exclusively of other fish. I found shrimp to be
readily taken, however. The teeth are very pointed and not as broad as some
of the other species. A slight overbite makes for an almost scissors like
Prone to velvet and ich, keeping an eye on water quality and
general health of the fish is paramount. All individuals at this time are
wild caught and often have parasites. Anchor worms have been noted, and
they may be removed using tweezers.
This species can become quite large. I viewed collection specimens
that were nearly eleven inches total length, and were as big around the
middle as an orange. Some keepers have had success with colonies of this
fish. I have not dared to experiment yet, especially after seeing the death
and mayhem in a LFS tank. I would think that getting juvenile fish would
be important to success with this method.
Keep an eye out for fish that look different when viewing
tanks of this species. Other species are often mixed in, and while bleached
due to stress, the collectors and the distributors may not notice. Other
rare species found mixed in have been T. abei, T. baileyi, T.
palembangensis and T. barbatus. Checking tanks of T. leiurus
is also a good idea as some of these species also resemble the Target Puffer,
and inhabit the same river system.