Toxic puffers accumulate their defense substance (tetrodotoxin; TTX) through the food chain. Although the previous study suggests that 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX, a nontoxic TTX analog detected simultaneously with TTX in toxic puffers or their prey, acts as an olfactory chemoattractant for grass puffers, it is unclear whether toxic puffers are commonly attracted to 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX, and which types of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) detect 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX. Here, we demonstrated that green spotted puffer, a phylogenetically distant species from the grass puffer, is attracted to 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX. 5,6,11-TrideoxyTTX administration made green spotted puffers stay longer at the administered site, whereas a food odor (l-Arg) made them actively swim throughout the aquarium. Attractive responses were not observed when TTX or its vehicle was administered, nor when 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX was administered to anosmic fish. Furthermore, double immunohistochemistry with activity marker and crypt OSN marker antibodies labeled oval cells with apical invagination on the olfactory epithelium surface treated with 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX. These results suggest that 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX acts as an olfactory chemoattractant detected by crypt OSNs, and attraction to 5,6,11-trideoxyTTX odor appears to be a trait shared by toxic puffers for social communication or effective toxification.

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