The narrow-lined puffer, which comes from the tropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific, was donated to the aquarium by a hobbyist because it was getting too big for his personal tank
The fish, which currently measures about 10cm, is just over a year old but could live for another decade and eventually reach lengths of up to 30cm.
After spending a month in quarantine it will join a number of other puffer fish in the aquarium’s Coral Cave display.
The fish is light brown in colour with thin dark bands from head to tail, which give it its common name. It is covered with small prickles and the eyes are surrounded by a caramel coloured ring.
The narrow-lined puffer also has a fused beak and sharp teeth which it uses to crush its prey including clams, molluscs, and hard shell shrimp that also help to keep its teeth worn down.
Curator David Wolfenden said: “This particular species of puffer fish is actually one of the smaller ones, however it highlights the ongoing problem of people purchasing fish when they are babies which they can then no longer accommodate as they grow.
“He’s actually a fine looking specimen and, although he won’t officially go on display until next month, visitors will still be able to see him during special Access All Areas behind the scenes tour.”
Puffer fish are famously able to inflate their bodies by using special muscles and valves to rapidly gulp in and retain water. They have no ribs so they can inflate up to three times their original size.
As well as the ability to inflate themselves most puffer fish are also highly poisonous and there have been a number of reported fatalities among diners in Japan where pufferfish – known as fugu – is considered a delicacy.