Yes, a pea puffer is poisonous. The poison contained in a pea puffer’s body is called Tetrodotoxin (TTX). Tetrodotoxin is a potent neurotoxin that can paralyze the muscles and shut down internal organs if ingested.
However, you’ll only be affected by the poison if you ingest a pea puffer. You can touch a pea puffer freely without being poisoned.
The potency of the tetrodotoxin also depends on the pea puffer’s diet and environment.
Wild pea puffers are believed to be more poisonous than their captive-raised counterparts. This is because the captive-raised fish have little to no contact with toxic food sources, algae, and bacteria that can affect their TTX levels.