I was out snorkeling at Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida in the shallow waters near the shore when I saw this fish.

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What fish is this?

I see it has black spots at the bottom and five white lines along its posterior fin.


I think this is probably a checkered puffer Sphoeroides testudineus based on your location and picture, with the wave-reflection patterning on the dorsal surface and ventral speckling the most obvious features.

enter image description here (image from https://biogeodb.stri.si.edu/caribbean/en/thefishes/species/4403 )

Could be a different Sphoeroides, but I looked through other species found off Florida and none had similar patterning.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would you please let the community know how did you find that? $\endgroup$ – Jossie Calderon Jul 28 at 21:46
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    $\begingroup$ @JossieCalderon I recognized it as a puffer fish from being familiar with puffer fishes more generally, but had no idea of the genus or species. At that point I went to geography, and got a list of puffer fish found off Florida. I started with this one since it seemed most common (showed up first and often in search), then looked at others found in Florida and tried to rule them out. Some of those are found on this page, too: biogeodb.stri.si.edu/caribbean/en/gallery/gspecie/4403 $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Jul 28 at 21:49
  • $\begingroup$ Wonderful. It does resemble a pufferfish. Thank you! $\endgroup$ – Jossie Calderon Jul 28 at 21:52

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