One fish that I found intriguing during a dive trip to the Red Sea was the Masked Puffer (Arothron diadematus). The black streak across its eyes reminds me of bandits featured in old films.
The Masked Puffer is a pufferfish in the Tetraodontidae family. It primarily lives in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. It can grow to 11-12 inches. It is a solitary fish but it has been observed in schools during mating seasons.
Pufferfish are one of the most poisonous animals underwater. Most contain a poison called tetrodotoxin which can be 1200 times deadlier than cyanide. Puffers do not produce the toxin but the toxin accumulates in their body from a particular algae they consume.
Many Pufferfish can expand and inflate themselves several times when threatened to help ward off predators.
Destruction of coral reefs and pollution are a treat to their survival.
Additional images from our recent dive trip to Egypt can be found here.