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Rainbow of Puffers

November 25, 2013

A tiny three-centimetre-loFigure of Eight Pufferfishng freshwater pufferfish and his marine cousin have gone on display at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium.

The pair of puffers, named George and Zippy, join the Rock-a-Nore Road aquarium’s five other resident puffer fish; Bungle, Geoffrey, Rod, Jane and Freddy.

Blue Reef’s Chris Ireland said: “With the arrival of Zippy and George, our tribute to the iconic children’s TV show ‘Rainbow’ is complete.

“No one is entirely sure who first came up with the idea of naming the puffers after the stars of Rainbow.

“However they are quite comical-looking fish and they have individual characters and personalities that do seem to appeal to people.

“They are also quite inquisitive and seem to enjoy the company of humans with some fish becoming quite tame and even spitting water out of their tank at passing aquarists to let them know they want to be fed!

“As George is a freshwater puffer and Zippy lives in the sea, they can’t share a tank but they are currently getting acclimatised in our nursery area in separate displays,” he added.

George is a figure of eight pufferfish while Zippy is a stars-and-stripes puffer.

Figure of eight puffers get their name from the patterns on their back which resemble the number eight.

They live in freshwater lakes and streams in Southeast Asia. Figure of eights are one of the smallest puffer species, only reaching about eight cm when fully grown.

Like all members of the puffer fish family, the figure of eight puffer is capable of inflating itself with water when stressed or otherwise frightened.

The stars-and-stripes puffer occurs in tropical and warm temperate marine waters throughout the Indo-Pacific. Its body is covered with a mix of star-like white spots and blue lines which give it its common name.

Stars and Stripes Puffer Fish