Pao baileyi (= Tetraodon baileyi)

26. January 2015

were able to import one of the most curious species of freshwater
pufferfish: Pao baileyi. This species occurs in the rapids of the river
Mekong in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia and has been discovered only in
1985. The species attains a maximum length of about 12-15 cm. The
strange beard that is developed in some specimens is most probably only
sometimes a feature that can be used to sex the fish. There do exist
beardless animals that seem to be males (according to the overall
proportions) and there are sometimes animals with a small beard that
seem to be females. It is only rarely as easy to sex the fishes as it
seems from some of our pictures. Anyway, the species is highly variable
in respect of coloration, too, not only in respect of the beard.

variability is connected with the unique lifestyle of the fish. They
imitate stones! The puffer sucks with its belly to the ground. Now the
function of the beard becomes obvious: this beard imitates algae growing
on a stone! If a fish or a shrimp comes along and tries to feed
Aufwuchs or algae from the surface of that “stone”, it becomes prey of
the pufferfish. So a comparably bad swimmer like a pufferfish can
survive in the strong current of rapids with a minimum of energy.

baileyi is very aggressive against conspecifics. So one should keep
these puffers solitary and put pairs together only for breeding
purposes. The hardness and pH of the water is of no meaning, but this
puffer needs clean, oxygen-rich water.

our customers: the animals have code 461254 on our stocklist. Please
note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade. Available in
limited numbers only! 

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer