Fact Sheet: Northern Puffer (Sugar Toad)


Northern Puffer (Sugar Toad)

Scientific Name

Sphoeroide Maculatus

Market Forms

Whole, dressed, fillet, fresh, frozen.


8-10 inches long, 1 pound or less.


It is a white meat, light, delicate sweet flavor.


Puffer are available fresh from May to October and frozen year round.

Nutritional Value

Protein - 23.2 grams Fat - 0.7 grams Potassium - 347 mg Calcium - 18 mg Phosphorus - 138 mg


Similar in taste to white perch and sea bass.


The puffer picks up its sugar toad name because of the sweet taste of its meat and because its skin that is covered with small spins that looks like the fish has been sprinkled with sugar.


The bulk of commercially caught puffer are harvested by day boats with haul seines, gill nets, pound nets, and pilax trap because they prefer shallow water.


Virginia's waters and products are regulated by federal and state agencies including the FDA, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, insuring that only safe wholesome seafood reaches our customers.