Golden puffer, Auriglobus silus

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Matt Clarke on a newly imported puffer from Thailand which lives in freshwater, but is a nasty piece of work.

Common name: Golden puffer, Gold green puffer

Scientific name: Auriglobus silus (Bleeker, 1851)

Origin: Found in large freshwater rivers and streams through Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo and Sumatra, Indonesia.

Size: Around 10cm/4" but quite chunky.

Diet: According to Kottelat et al. (1993) this fish feeds predominantly on crunchy insects, seeds and shrimps. However, it has also been known to eat the fins and scales of other (live) fish as well as whole fish if it can fit them in its mouth. Chonerhinus and Auriglobus puffers commonly suffer from overgrown teeth, so ensure that you offer lots of hard foods, otherwise your fish will need expensive dental treatment.

Water: No specific data is available, but this is said to be a true freshwater species, so salt isn't required.

Aquarium: This is one of the most aggressive species of freshwater puffer, so don't even think about putting one in a community tank. Like other puffers, they tend to become less active with maturity and spend less time buzzing around the tank chasing other fish. It's best kept in a species tank, ideally on its own. Auriglobus tend to be very quarrelsome with their own species.

Notes: This species was originally described in 1851 by Bleeker at Chonerhinus modestus, but has since been moved into Auriglobus. Another species, A. silus (Roberts, 1981) looks very similar to this one and has previously been imported into the UK trade. The two are tricky to tell apart. A. silus has 19-20 anal rays, while modestus has a few more, as well as a narrower caudal peduncle depth.

Availability: Members of the Auriglobus and Chonerhinus genera are pretty rare in the hobby, possibly because they are so hard to keep alongside other fish.

Price: Expect to pay around £10-20.00 each for one of these.