The white-spotted pufferfish – one of the "Top 10 New Species for 2015"!

The white-spotted pufferfish (Torquigener albomaculosus), first reported in Ichthyological Research, has been selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration (IISE) as one of the “Top 10 New Species for 2015"!

- Read the press release for more information

A new pufferfish of the genus Torquigener that builds “mystery circles” on sandy bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Actinopterygii: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae)

Matsuura, K. Ichthyol Res (2015) 62: 207. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-014-0428-5


Strange circles have been found on sandy bottoms at depths from 10 to 27 m along the southern coast of Amami Oshima Island in the Ryukyu Islands over the past 20 years. These “mystery circles” on the sea floor are relatively large – roughly 2 m in diameter – and characterized by double edges and radiating spoke-like troughs, which have long been a mystery to local scuba divers. How are these mystery circles constructed and who builds them? The present article describes a newly discovered pufferfish, Torquigener albomaculosus, which builds the “mystery circles” as spawning nests. Dr. Keiichi Matsuura, the author of this article, held an oral presentation on this new species and the “mystery circles” at the 9th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference in Okinawa, Japan in 2013, sparking a new wave of interest in the subject.

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Torquigener albomaculosus placing a piece of shell on a ridge of a spawning nest

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A spawning nest (mystery circle) of T. albomaculosus found at 26 m depth on a sandy bottom along the south coast of Amami-oshima Island in the Ryukyu Islands