Bullseye Puffer, Concentric Puffer
Bullseye Puffer, Sphoeroides annulatus: The Bullseye Puffer is easily identified by the striking pattern of concentric circles on its back.
Due to this unique marking, the Bullseye Puffer cannot be easily confused with any other species. The upper head and body are various shades of brown, gray, and white; the underside is pale.
The Bullseye Puffer's back and side are normally covered with numerous, very small dark brown spots, but the fins and belly are free of spots. It has an elongated snout.
This fish species is normally found over sandy bottoms but, does visit reefs and rock-sand interfaces on occasion, close to shore, in the first 40 feet of the water column. It reaches a maximum length of approximately 16 inches but is normally 8 to 12 inches.
It is a member the Tetraodontidae or Pufferfish Family.
Distribution in Mexico fishing areas
In Mexican fishing waters , the Bullseye Puffer is omnipresent in all near shore Mexican waters, but it appears to be absent from around the oceanic islands.
Note: Like many puffers, the Bullseye Puffer is reputed to be highly poisonous, even fatal, if eaten, due to the presence of tetrodotoxin believed to protect it from predation by larger fish.
Bullseye Puffer, Sphoeroides annulatus: Caught during the last hour of daylight, while fishing in July 2001, in 82-degree water, from shore utilizing 15-pound test with a floating bobber and Mustad 92553 hook, size 2/0, on cut squid, in the rocks at Km. 14 (El Tule) between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Size approximately 8 inches and 3/4 pound, and virtually no fight. Not edible! A “catch and release.” Description and photo courtesy John Snow.
Bullseye Puffer, Sphoeroides annulatus: Caught off the bottom on cut squid during midday, in August 2004, in 82-degree water, from shore at Punta Pescadero, Km. 66. Size approximately 5 pounds and had to be “floated” onto the rocks from far below via a giant wave. Photo courtesy John Snow.
Bullseye Puffer, Sphoeroides annulatus: One of two similar collections made off the beach adjacent to the San Jose del Cabo river mouth in August, 2005; without the bullseye and flat bottom. Fish identification by Dr. Ross Robertson. Photo courtesy John Snow.
Bullseye Puffer, Sphoeroides annulatus: Photo courtesy Peter Langstraat.
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