AskDefine | Define blowfish

Dictionary Definition



1 delicacy that is highly dangerous because of a potent nerve poison in ovaries and liver [syn: sea squab, puffer]
2 any of numerous marine fishes whose elongated spiny body can inflate itself with water or air to form a globe; several species contain a potent nerve poison; closely related to spiny puffers [syn: puffer, globefish] [also: blowfishes (pl)]

User Contributed Dictionary

see Blowfish



English blow + fish.


  1. In the context of "Fish": : Any species of fish of the family Tetraodontidae that have the ability to inflate themselves to a globe several times their normal size by swallowing water or air when threatened.
  2. italbrac-colon food A delicacy popular in Japan served raw as sushi that may, if improperly prepared, contain deadly levels of neurotoxins


Extensive Definition

Tetraodontidae is a family of primarily marine and estuarine fish. The family includes many familiar species which are variously called puffers, balloonfish, blowfish, bubblefish, globefish, swellfish, toadfish, and toadies. They are morphologically similar to the closely related porcupinefish, which have large conspicuous spines (unlike the small, almost sandpaper-like spines of Tetraodontidae). The scientific name, Tetraodontidae, refers to the four large teeth, fused into an upper and lower plate, which are used for crushing the shells of crustaceans and mollusks, and red worms their natural prey.
Puffer Fish are the second most poisonous animal in the world, the first being a Golden Poison Frog. The skin and certain internal organs of many Tetraodontidae are highly toxic to humans, but nevertheless the meat of some species is considered a delicacy in both Japan (as fugu) and Korea (as bok-uh).
The Tetraodontidae contains at least 121 species of puffers in 19 genera.



Further reading

  • Arreola, V.I., and M.W. Westneat. 1996. Mechanics of propulsion by multiple fins: kinematics of aquatic locomotion in the burrfish (Chilomycterus schoepfi). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 263: 1689–1696.
  • Ebert, Klaus (2001): The Puffers of Fresh and Brackish Water, Aqualog, ISBN 393170260X.
  • Gordon, M.S., Plaut, I., and D. Kim. 1996. How puffers (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae) swim. Journal of Fish Biology 49: 319–328.
  • Plaut, I. and T. Chen. 2003. How small puffers (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae) swim. Ichthyological Research 50: 149–153.
blowfish in Min Nan: Chhì-kui
blowfish in Danish: Kuglefisk-familien
blowfish in German: Kugelfische
blowfish in Dhivehi: ކޮލި އާއިލާ (މަސް)
blowfish in Spanish: Tetraodontidae
blowfish in French: Tetraodontidae
blowfish in Italian: Tetraodontidae
blowfish in Hebrew: נפוחיתיים
blowfish in Dutch: Kogelvissen
blowfish in Japanese: フグ
blowfish in Norwegian: Kulefisker
blowfish in Polish: Rozdymkowate
blowfish in Portuguese: Tetraodontidae
blowfish in Finnish: Pallokalat
blowfish in Swedish: Blåsfiskar
blowfish in Thai: ปลาปักเป้า
blowfish in Chinese: 河豚
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