The range extension to East London of this new Three-toothed puffer specimen is much further south than ever previously recorded in African waters. There is strong evidence to show that tropical fish species extensions into temperate waters are occurring more frequently worldwide and this puffer fish contributes to evidence related to climate shift.
Just as the famous coelacanth was a chance discovery, so too is this fish having been ‘foul-hooked’ by Johan Deetlefs, released and netted by Gideon du Preez before being preserved on ice. This specimen (Triodon macropterus) will be studied by scientists at the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) with a possible inclusion into the scientific literature when the seminal fish book Smith’s Sea Fishes of southern Africa is revised adding important information for future research.
Mr Stef Kriel of East London is thanked for first alerting the museum to this find.