Animal Species:Smooth Toadfish, Tetractenos glaber (Fréminville, 1813)
The Smooth Toadfish is very common in parts of south-eastern Australia. Despite its 'friendly' appearance, the fish is toxic and should not be eaten.
Standard Common Name
The Smooth Toadfish has a moderately elongate, thick body that tapers to a narrow caudal peduncle. There is a distinct skin fold along the lower side from the rear of the pectoral fin to the base of the caudal fin.
This species can be recognised by its colour pattern. It is sandy coloured to pale greenish above and white below. The back and sides are covered with dark blotches. There is a dark band between the eyes, another between the pectoral fins and a third through the dorsal fin base.
It grows to 15 cm in length.
The species looks similar to the CommonToadfish. They can be separated by skin texture and colouration. The Smooth Toadfish has larger spots and blotches. It has minute spines embedded in the skin, which has a smooth texture, hence the common name. The Common Toadfish is covered with small prickles.
The Smooth Toadfish is endemic to Australia. It occurs from southern Queensland to Tasmania and as far west as the central coast of South Australia.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
It occurs in estuaries and coastal bays.
Danger to humans and first aid
The species is toxic and should not be eaten.
- Gomon, M.F. in Gomon, M.F., Glover, C.J.M. & R.H. Kuiter (Eds). 1994. The Fishes of Australia's South Coast. State Print, Adelaide. Pp. 992.
- Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology