The Map Puffer, Scribbled Arothron Puffer, also known as the Scribbled Toadfish has a very distinct and vivid appearance. The main color ranges from light tans to dark yellows and it has a network of black "scribbles" covering the body, forming an intricate pattern. It lacks pelvic fins, but has learned to use the pectoral fins to move about the aquarium.
It has the ability to inflate its body to almost twice its normal size when threatened or alarmed to discourage others from trying to eat it. Parts of the flesh are poisonous if digested. Its teeth are actually a fused beak-like structure.
A 300 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium with a good protein skimmer is suitable. It will generally live peacefully with other fish, even other Puffers. It will eat invertebrates found in a reef tank, as well as corals, and even aquarium apparatus. It becomes alarmed when in a net, therefore, use a container to transfer it.
Initially, Map Puffer is a shy fish that will hide in caves and under overhangs. Once acclimated, the Map Puffer will be out and about as long as the tank is large enough. This fish will do best with larger fish such as triggers and groupers.
Maximum Size: The Arthron mappa or Map Puffer grows up to 13 inches.
General Size: The small size Map Puffer comes within 2 to 3 inches; the medium generally 4 to 5 inches; the large generally 6 to 7 inches.
Minimum Tank Size Suggested: The Map Puffer requires a tank of at least 100 gallons with plenty of places to hide and swim.
Tank Conditions: A 100 gallon or larger, fish-only aquarium with a good protein skimmer is suitable for the Panda Puffer, with 72-78ºF of temperature, a specific gravity of 1.020-1.025 and a pH level of 8.1-8.4 being ideal for it.
Habitat: The Map Puffer is found mostly in Africa, Indonesia, often near the coral reefs.
Feeding and Diet: Map Puffers, being predators in the wild, accept shellfish, crustaceans and hard shelled foods such as snails as its primary diet. A large variety of all kinds of live and frozen meaty foods are best. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. Some of the suggested frozen foods include prawn, crabs/crabs legs, bloodworms, blackworms, silversides, and mussels. Occasionally, they graze on algae as well.