Introducing our July 2021 Fish of the Month, the Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby (Canthigaster jactator))!
Survey Regions: The Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby is endemic to Hawaii. While you can't see it anywhere else in the world, if you are diving or snorkeling in Hawaii, you have a good chance of seeing this fish. It has been reported on more than 80% of REEF surveys conducted in the region! You can check out the sightings report for this species in REEF's Hawaiian Islands (HAW) region here.
Size: They grow to about 3 inches.
Identifying Features: Hawaiian Whitespotted Tobies have an elongated snout and a brown or tan body covered in white spots. Occasionally spots on the head may appear slightly green.
Fun Facts: The Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby is a member of the Pufferfish family. They are usually seen in pairs and are active during the day, when they can be seen feeding on sponges and algae. They even produce their own form of sunscreen to protect themselves from UV rays! This was discovered several decades ago, when a University of Hawaii researcher observed the presence of sunscreen compounds within the skin mucus of the Hawaiian Whitespotted Toby, as well as many other reef fishes. You can read more about this here.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for our next Fish of the Month!
[Photo by Florent Charpin]