Tetraodontidae represents the largest family of Tetraodontiformes with about 130 described species. The order is primarily marine, with only a small fraction of this group subsequently settling in freshwater.

The Tetraodontidae family is characterized by harboring generally rounded fish that have the ability to inflate the stomach with water or air, which acts as a defense mechanism by rapidly increasing body size. The body is usually naked, although some species may have thorn-shaped scales.

The family name (Greek: tetra; four; and odous, tooth) refers to the shape and arrangement of the teeth in their representatives, having two strong fused teeth in both the jaw and the jaw.

Tetraodontidae species have toxins that can be lethal if swallowed. Toxins are usually found in the developing liver, skin and intestines or gonads. The toxins and toxicity of freshwater Tetraodontiformes are poorly known.

Two species are recorded in neotropical freshwater environments, Colomesus asellus (Müller & Troschel, 1849) and Colomesus psittacus (Bloch & Schneider, 1801), a coastal species that occasionally enters freshwater.

Thus only the Colomesus asellus species is totally restricted to freshwater. and found in most of the Amazonian rivers.

The Amazonian puffer has a rounded body, with the dorsal portion of the body yellowish presenting five transverse bands and a dark round spot on the caudal peduncle. Its ventral part of the body is clear, its fins are hyaline, with the dorsal fin located in the posterior region of the body and absence of pelvic and adipose fin. Your nostril is tubular.

Colomesus asellus differs from Colomesus psittacusp by the number of dark bars on the dorsum of the interorbital to the peduncle (5 vs. 6) and the smaller number of rays in the pectoral fin, not including the rudimentary (13–16 vs. 16–19).

The possibility of the existence of a new decrepit species such as Colomesus tocantinensis, whose color pattern is essentially the same as that of Colomesus asellus, with five transverse dark bars in the dorsal region of the body, a dark spot in the lower part of the peduncle, is being studied lately. caudal, present or trace or absent in several samples. The interspaces between the dark bars are light yellow, with pigmentation gradually decreasing and turning white in the ventral region and showing a pale pale yellow pattern that contrasts with the gold-yellow pattern present in common Colomesus asellus specimens in Iquitos and Belém.


“… The nailon had moved. I was agitated. The line ran from side to side. Mr. Felix threw away his cigarette and hurried to help me. The fish arrived, thrashed on the floor. What a disappointment: a puffer fish. An undesirable puffer fish. I believe this is still the case today. This ugly, pitying fish embodies the frustration of any fisherman. However, it is not only despised for its ugliness, but mainly for the poison embedded in its flesh ... The fishermen refuse it even more because of its sharp teeth that cut the lines, with the loss of hooks and sinkers. But a fish belonging to such an elegant order of name - Tetraodontiformes - cannot be that useless ... I threw it into the dark river with the usual disdain. So long ago that fish ... And so long it took me to know its importance and to remember it now, with all due respect.” Iveraldo Guimarães - Infinity Sailboats

 

Colomesus asellus Müller & Troschel, 1849

According to FISHBASE:

Kingdom = Animalia ; Phylum = Chordata ; Class = Actinopterygii ; Order =
Tetraodontiformes ; Family = Tetraodontidae ; Genus = Colomesus.

Distribution: South America: Amazon River basin, from Peru to Marajó Island, including tributaries Araguaia and Guaporé; Orinoco River Basin near the mouth; Essequibo river basin.

Size - Maximum Length: 12,8 cm.

Synonyms: Colomesus asellus, Chelichthys asellus, Cheilichthys asellus.

Common name of Colomesus asellus: Baiacu, Baiacu Amazônico, Papagei-Süsswasserkugelfisch, Amazon puffer (EUA).

Reference: Ortega, H. and R.P. Vari, 1986. Annotated checklist of the freshwater fishes of Peru. Smithson. Contrib. Zool. (437):1-25.

Reference:

FISHBASE = https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Colomesus-asellus

INSTRUÇÃO NORMATIVA INTERMINISTERIAL N°1, DE 3 DE JANEIRO DE 2012. Diário Oficial da União – Seção I, Nº3, quarta-feira, 4 de janeiro de 2012, páginas 26 a 42 – ISSN 1677-7042 INI MPA-MMA (n01-2012 - Peixes Ornamentais Continentais.pdf)

Araújo-Lima, C.A.R.M.; Savastano, D. & Jordão, L.C., 1994, Drift of Colomesus asellus (Teleostei: Tetraodontidae) larvae in the Amazon river. Revue de Hydrobiologie Tropical, 27: 33–38.

Camargo, M. & Maya, T. 2008. Análise populacional do baiacu, Colomesus psittacus (Tetraodontiformes, Tetraodontidae), no estuário o rio Caeté, costa norte do Brasil. Uakari, 4 (1): 23–28.

Haddad Junior, V. 2003. Animais aquáticos de importância médica no Brasil. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical,36(5): 591–597.

Lange, W.R. 1990. Puffer fish poisoning. American Family Physician, 42(4): 1029–1033

Kullander, S.O. 2003. Family Tetraodontidae. In: Reis, R.E.; Kullander, S.O. & Ferraris Jr., C.J. (Eds). Check List of the Freshwater Fishes of South and Central America. Edipucrs, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. p. 670–670.

Müller, J.; & Troschel, F.H. 1849. Fische. In: Reisen in Britisch-Guiana in den Jahren 1840-44. Im Auftrag Sr. Mäjestat des Königs von Preussen ausgeführt von Richard Schomburgk. [Versuch einer Fauna und Flora von Britisch-Guiana.] 3. Berlin. p. 618–644.

Nelson, J.S. 2006. Fishes of the world. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York. 601pp.

Oliveira, J.S.; Fernandes, S.C.R.; Schwartz, C.A.; Bloch Jr., C.; Melo, J.A.T.; Pires Jr., O.R. & Freitas, J.C. 2006. Toxicity and toxin identification in Colomesus asellus, an Amazonian (Brazil) freshwater pufferfish. Toxicon. 48(1): 55–63.

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