noun, plural: tetrodons
Any of the species belonging to the genus Tetraodon of puffer fish family
Tetrodons are pufferfish species belonging to the Tetraodon genus and other allied genera. Tetraodon belongs to the Tetraodontidae family (commonly referred to as the pufferfish family. Members of the genus are found thriving in freshwater, especially in Africa. Similar to other pufferfish, they have the ability to inflate when threatened. They carry a potent neurotoxin called tetrodoxin, which is synthesized by symbiotic bacteria (e.g. Psudomonos, Vibrio, Pseudoalteromonas, etc.). This toxin is a sodium channel blocker. It binds to the voltage-gated sodium channels in the surface of neurons. This prevents the influx of sodium ions, thus, preventing the affected neuron to generate action potential.
T. duboisi is an example of a species belonging to this genus. This pufferfish is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Another tetrodon is the fahaka pufferfish (T. lineatus). It is a tropical pufferfish that is also called Nile puffer and lineatus puffer. The species can grow up to 43 cm in length. Other members of the genus Tetraodon are giant puffer (T. mbu), cross river pufferfish (T. pustulatus), and T. schoutedeni.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii
- Order: Tetraodontiformes
- Family: Tetraodontidae
- Genus: Tetraodon (Linnaeus, 1758)