Systematic position
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (Ray-finned fishes)
Order: Tetraodontiformes (Plectognaths)
Family: Tetraodontidae (Puffers)
Genus: Chelonodon
Species: C. patoca

Cheilichthys kappa (Bleeker, 1852)
Chelonodon kappa (Bleeker, 1852)
Leiodon patoca Hammilton, 1822
Tetraodon kappa Bleeker, 1852
Tetraodon patoca Hammilton, 1822
Tetrodon dissutidens Cantor, 1849

Common/local names
English: Milkspotted puffer and Gangetic pufferfish
Bangladesh: Potka (পটকা), Sada potka (সাদা পটকা), Fotka (ফটকা), Boga (বোগা) and Kata tepa (কাটা পটকা)
India: Potka (West Bengal) (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)

Distributions: Tropical Indo-west Pacific (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991).

Conservation status: Not threatened in Bangladesh (IUCN Bangladesh, 2000).

Morphology: Body elongate with broad head. Arched upper profile from snout to caudal fin. Two lateral lines which may often inconspicuous. Upper lateral line bent downwards below dorsal fin and lower lateral line goes along lower half of tail on a feeble ridge (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Spiny patch on back, throat and belly. Sides are naked. Dorsal and anal fins rounded (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Body color blackish back with numerous small round spots of yellowish color. Silver below and flanks. Often 3 or 4 dark cross-bands extending from back to middle of sides in juveniles (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Dorsal, anal and pectoral fins are whitish (Bhuiyan, 1964).

Fin formula:
D. 10-11; P. 18; A. 8-10; C. 10-11 (Bhuiyan, 1964)
D. 10-11; P1. 17-18; P2. Absent; A. 8-10; C. 10-11 (Rahman, 1989 and 2005)
D 9-10; A. 8-10; P 15-16 (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991)
D. 10-11; P. 8-10; C. 10-11 (Shafi and Quddus, 2001).

Maximum lengths: 16.5 cm (Bhuiyan, 1964), 21 cm (Rahman, 1989 and 2005), 3.5 cm (Shafi and Quddus, 2001) and 37 cm (Huda et al., 2003).

Habitats: Inhibits estuaries but also found in large oxbow lakes during rainy season (Shafi and Quddus, 2001). Found in the Bay of Bengal and estuaries (Rahman, 1989 and 2005). Also in flooded jute and rice fields during rainy season (Bhuiyan, 1964). Available in the Sundarbans (Huda et al., 2003).

Fishery info: Of no importance to fisheries (Talwar and Jhingran, 1991). Poisonous to eat (Rahman, 2005).



Bhuiyan AL (1964) Fishes of Dacca, Asiat. Soc. Pakistan, Pub. 1, No. 13, Dacca, pp. 119-120.

Bleeker P (1852) Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Singapore. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3:51-86.

Cantor TE (1849) Catalogue of Malayan fishes. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 18(2): i-xii + 983-1443, Pls. 1-14.

Hamilton F (1822) An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches. Edinburgh & London. An account of the fishes found in the river Ganges and its branches.: i-vii + 1-405, Pls. 1-39.

Huda MS, Haque ME, Babul AS and Shil NC (ed.) (2003) Field guide to finfishes of Sundarban, Aquatic resources division, Sundarban, Boyra, Khulna, Bangladesh, p. 190.

IUCN Bangladesh (2000) Red book of threatened fishes of Bangladesh, IUCN- The world conservation union. xii+116 pp.

Rahman AKA (1989) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 1st edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 55-56.

Rahman AKA (2005) Freshwater Fishes of Bangladesh, 2nd edition, Zoological Society of Bangladesh, Department of Zoology, University of Dhaka, Dhaka-1000, pp. 70-71.

Shafi M and Quddus MMA (2001) Bangladesher Matsho Shampad (Fisheries of Bangladesh) (in Bengali), Kabir publication. Dhaka, Bangladesh. pp. 322-323.

Talwar PK and Jhingran AG (1991) Inland Fishes of India and Adjacent Countries, Vol. 2, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. New Delhi-Calcutta, p. 1057.


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Milkspotted puffer, Chelonodon patoca (Hamilton, 1822)

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Shams Galib

Shams works in freshwater ecosystems, primarily on fish diversity in terms of their availability, and richness; he is also interested in aquatic invasive species and their impacts on ecosystem. Email: More...

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