In April 2004 white nodular lesions were found on the fins of whitespotted puffer Arothron hispidus (Linnaeus). Diagnostic studies were carried out to confirm the disease using light and electron microscopy, histochemical methods and PCR. The results revealed that the nodules were composed of giant cells up to 400 microm in diameter. These cells were surrounded by a periodic acid-Schiff (PAS)-positive hyaline capsule containing dot-shaped, Feulgen-positive inclusion bodies in the cytoplasm and an irregular nucleus. Numerous virus particles 200 nm in diameter and with hexagonal profiles were observed in the cytoplasm. These features were consistent with those of lymphocystis disease. Additionally, based on the gene sequences of major capsid protein (MCP) of lymphocystis disease virus (LCDV) from Japanese flounder Paralichthys olivaceus, 2 pair primers were designed; after a nested PCR was performed for detection of LCDV in A. hispidus, a positive amplified product was obtained showing the presence of LCDV. Therefore, the white nodules were the lymphocystis lesions caused by LCDV infection and A. hispidus was demonstrated to be a new host for LCDV.