Northern Pufferfish

   The northern puffer (nor-thern-puff-er-fish) is a club-shaped fish with a gray, brown or olive back and a yellow or white belly.  Adults have small spines covering the entire body with a tiny beak-like mouth. Its color is poorly defined black/dark green spots and saddles and a yellow to white belly.  It has Tiny jet-black pepper spots (about 1 mm in diameter) scattered over most of pigmented surface, particularly evident on cheeks. Lower sides of the body have a row of black, elongate, bar-like markings.  A small dorsal fin is set far back near the tail. Sphoeroides maculatus, like others in the puffer family, "puffs up" into a ball in self-defense by inhaling air or water into a special chamber near its stomach.  The northern puffer usually grows to about 8 to 10 inches.