Sea of Japan and surrounding areas where the Japanese puffer fish is foundT. rubripes is found in marine habitat, mainly in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, the Sea of Japan, and the East China Sea. The Japanese puffer fish adults live in the shallow inlet waters and the brackish (mix of fresh water and sea water) water leading to the Pacific. The adults can be found in the shallow coral surrounding the coastal areas when laying their eggs. Follow me to learn more about puffer fish reproduction.


 The puffer fish share their waters with red claw crabs, seed shrimp, snails, Japanese large-eyed bream, sponges, anemones, and algea. The Japanese puffer fish stays in this area of the  Northwestern Pacific because it is too small for the open ocean, and its food source (small marine species of crab, clams, snail and fish) are found here. Also the puffer fish is most happy within the semi-salt, semi-fresh water environment of the brackish waters. Follow me to learn more about how the puffer fish eats its food.


Once ingested the food passes directly into the intestine for digestion. The puffer fish also has a closed circulatory system, utilizing gills for gas exchange through the water.


The Japanese puffer fish is also one of many fish that can be infected with the parasite Heterobothrium okamotoi. The flatworm attaches its eggs to the puffer fish's body and its gills. When the larvae form, they burrow and eat away at the puffer fish, essentially killing the fish.                 


Vibrio cholerae.  2007 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc. The Japanese puffer fish is thought to contain one of the bacteria that produce tetrodotoxin as a biproduct, such as Pseudomonas spp. or Vibrio spp. Tetrodotoxin is a very strong neurotoxin and has very adverse side effects for humans and other animals. In humans, tetrodotoxin poisoning begins with numbness of the lips and tongue, occurring within three hours of ingestion. Numbness of the rest of the face, hands and feet follow, with headache, nausea and vomiting after that. Paralysis, increased respiratory stress, decreased speech, and cardiac arrhythmia soon occur. Death occurs within 20 minutes to 8 hours of ingestion.



 Tetrodotoxin has been isolated from other marine animals, including the California newt, parrotfish, blue-ringed octopus, starfish, xanthid crabs, Harlequin frogs and angelfish. Learn more about a cool parrotfish , Bullethead Parrotfish.harlequin frogs also produce tetrodotoxin

blue- ringe octopus, also produces tetrodotoxin

xanthid crab, also produces tetrodotoxin